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Full text of "The life of Abraham Lincoln : drawn from original sources and containing many speeches, letters and telegrams hitherto unpublished, and illustrated with many reproductions from original paintings, photographs, et cetera"

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Made in 1860 by Leonard W. Volk of Chicago. 

AGE 51 

From a photograph. 

The LIFE of 


DRAWN from original SOURCES 
and containing many SPEECHES, 

hitherto unpublished, and illustrated 
with many reproductions from original 
Paintings, Photographs, et cetera 
New Edition with New Matter 



Volume Two 

New York 
The Macmillan Company 


All rights reserved 

Copyright, 1895, 1896, 1898, 1899 
By The S. S. McClure Co. 

Copyright, 1900 
By Doubleday & McClure Co, 

Copyright, 1900 
By McClure, Phillips & Co. 


Copyright, 191 7 

By The Macmillan Company 

a 7 J, 71 62 





XXII. The first inauguration of Lincoln — The relief of Fort 
Sumter — Seward's ambition to control the adminis- 
tration - _ . ...... i 

XXIIL The beginning of civil war ------ jj 

XXIV. The failure of Fremont — Lincoln's first difficulties with 

McClellan— The death of Willie Lincoln 6i 

XXV. Lincoln and emancipation ------ 93 

XXVI. Lincoln's search for a General ----- 127 

XXVII. Lincoln and the soldiers ------ 146 

XXVIII. Lincoln's re-election in 1864 ------ 170 

XXIX. Lincoln's work in the winter of 1864-65 — his second in- 
auguration --------- 205 

XXX. The end of the war 230 

XXXI. Lincoln's funeral - - 245 

Appendix -----••••••- 363 



Life Mask of Lincoln, i860 Frontispiece 

Facsimile of Fragment of First Inaugural facing 10 

Mary Todd Lincoln, Wife of the President facing 24 

Lincoln Early in 1861 facing 40 

Lincoln in 1861 facing 100 

First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation before the Cabinet, 

September 20, 1862 between pages 1 16-1 17 

Lincoln at McClellan's Headquarters, Antietam, October 3, 1862. 

facing 130 
Grand Review of the Army of the Potomac. . . .between pages 142-143 

Note from Lincoln to the Secretary of War 151 

Mr. Lincoln and his Son " Tad " facing 196 

Legend Scratched on a Window Pane by J. Wilkes Booth 198 

Lincoln in 1864 facing 220 

The Last Portrait of President Lincoln facing 232 

The Last Bit of Writing Done by Lincoln 237 

Watching at the Bedside of the Dying President on the Night of 

April 14 and 15, 1865 facing 244 




Daybreak of March 4, 1861, found the city of Washing- 
ton astir. The Senate, which had met at seven o'clock the 
night before, was still in session ; scores of persons who ha4 
come to see the inauguration of the first Republican Presi- 
dent, and who had been unable to find other bed than the 
floor, were walking the streets; the morning trains were 
bringing new crowds. Added to the stir of those who had 
not slept through the night were sounds unusual in Washing- 
ton — the clatter of cavalry, the tramp of soldiers. 

All this morning bustle of the city must have reached the 
ears of the President-elect, at his rooms in Willard's Hotel, 
where from an early hour he had been at work. An amend- 
ment to the Constitution of the United States had passed the 
Senate in the all-night session, and as it concerned the sub- 
ject of his inaugural, he must incorporate a reference to it in 
the address. Then he had not replied to the note he had 
received two days before from Mr. Seward, asking to be 
released from his promise to accept the portfolio of State. 
He could wait no longer. " I can't afford," he said to Mr. 
Nicolay, his secretary, " to let Seward take the first trick." 
And he despatched the following letter : 


My dear Sir : Your note of the 2d instant, asking to with- 
draw your acceptance of my invitation to take charge of the 
State Department, was duly received. It is the subject of 
the most painful solicitude with me, and I feel constrained 
to beg that you will countermand the withdrawal. The pub- 
lic interest, I think, demands that you should; and my per- 
sonal feelings are deeply enlisted in the same direction. 
Please consider and answer by 9 A. m. to-morrow. Your 
obedient servant, A. Lincoln. 

At noon, Mr. Lincoln's work was interrupted. The Presi- 
dent of the United States was announced. Mr. Buchanan 
had come to escort his successor to the Capitol. The route of 
the procession was the historic one over which almost every 
President since Jefferson had travelled to take his oath of 
office ; but the scene Mr. Lincoln looked upon as his carriage 
rolled up the avenue was very different from that upon which 
one looks to-day. No great blocks lined the streets ; instead, 
the buildings were low, and there were numerous vacant 
spaces. Instead of asphalt, the carriage passed over cobble- 
stones. Nor did the present stately and beautiful approach 
to the Capitol exist. The west front rose abrupt and stiff 
from an unkept lawn. The great building itself was still un- 
completed, and high above his head Mr. Lincoln could see 
the swinging arm of an enormous crane rising from the 
unfinished dome. 

But, as he drove that morning from Willard's to the Capi- 
tol, the President-elect saw far more significant sights than 
these. Closed about his carriage, " so thickly," complained 
the newspapers, " as to hide it from view," was a protecting 
guard. Stationed at intervals along the avenue were pla- 
toons of soldiers. At every corner were mounted orderlies. 
On the very roof-tops were groups of riflemen. When Lin- 
coln reached the north side of the CapitoL, where he de- 
scended to enter the building, he found a board tunnel , 


strongly guarded at its mouth, through which he passed into 
the building. If he had taken pains to inquire what means 
had been provided for protecting his life while in the build- 
ing, he would have been told that squads of riflemen were in 
each wing; that under the platform from which he was to 
speak were fifty or sixty armed soldiers ; that General Scott 
and two batteries of flying artillery were in adjacent streets ; 
and that a ring of volunteers encircled the waiting crowd. 
The thoroughness with which these guards did their work 
may be judged by the experience which Colonel Clark E. 
Carr, of Illinois, tells: 

" I was only a young man then/' says Colonel Carr, " and 
this was the first inauguration I had ever attended. I came 
because it was Lincoln's. For three years Lincoln had been 
my political idol, as he had been that of many young men in 
the West. The first debate I heard between him and Douglas 
had converted me from popular sovereignty, and after that 
I had followed him all over the State, so fascinated was I by 
his logic, his manner, and his character. 

" Well, I went to Washington, but somehow, in the in- 
terest of the procession, I failed to get to the Capitol in time 
to find a place within hearing distance ; thousands of people 
were packed between me and the stand. I did get, however, 
close to the high double fence which had been built from the 
driveway to the north door. It suddenly occurred to me that, 
if I could scale that wall, I might walk right in after the 
President, perhaps on to the very platform. It wasn't a min- 
ute before I ' shinned ' up and jumped into the tunnel; but 
before I lit on my feet, a half dozen soldiers had me by the 
leg and arms. I suppose they thought I was the agent of the 
long-talked-of plot to capture Washington and kill Mr. Lin- 
coln. They searched me, and then started me to the mouth 
of the tunnel, to take me to the guard-house, but the crowd 
was so thick we couldn't get out. This gave me time, and I 
finally convinced them that it was really my eagerness to 
hear Mr. Lincoln, and no evil intent, that had brought me in. 
When they finally came to that conclusion, they took me 


around to one of the basement doors on the east side and let 
me out. I got a place in front of Mr. Lincoln, and heard 
every word.'' 

The precautions taken against the long-threatened at- 
tack on Lincoln's life produced various impressions on 
the throng. Opponents scornfully insisted that the new Ad- 
ministration was " scared." Radical Republicans rejoiced. 
" I was thoroughly convinced at the time, ,, says the Hon. 
James Harlan, at that time a Senator from Iowa, "that Mr. 
Lincoln's enemies meant what they said, and that Gen- 
eral Scott's determination that the inauguration should go off 
peaceably prevented any hostile demonstration.' ' Other sup- 
porters of Mr. Lincoln felt differently. 

" Nothing could have been more ill-advised or more osten- 
tatious," wrote the " Public Man " that night in his u Diary," 
" than the way in which the troops were thrust everywhere 
upon the public attention, even to the roofs of the houses 
on Pennsylvania avenue, on which little squads of sharp- 
shooters were absurdly stationed. I never expected to ex- 
perience such a sense of mortification and shame in my own 
country as I felt to-day, in entering the Capitol through 
hedges of marines armed to the teeth. . . . Fortu- 
nately, all passed off well, but it is appalling to think of the 
mischief which might have been done by a single evil-dis- 
posed person to-day. A blank cartridge fired from a window 
on Pennsylvania avenue might have disconcerted all our 
hopes, and thrown the whole country into inextricable con- 
fusion. That nothing of the sort was done, or even so much 
as attempted, is the most conclusive evidence that could be 
asked of the groundlessness of the rumors and old women's 
tales on the strength of which General Scott has been led into 
this great mistake." 

Arm in arm with Mr. Buchanan, Mr. Lincoln passed 


through the long tunnel erected for his protection, entered 
the Capitol, and passed into the Senate Chamber, filled to 
overflowing with Senators, members of the Diplomatic 
Corps, and visitors. The contrast between the two men as 
they entered struck every observer. " Mr. Buchanan was so 
withered and bowed with age," wrote George W. Julian, of 
Indiana, who was among the spectators, " that in contrast 
with the towering form of Mr. Lincoln he seemed little more 
than half a man." 

A few moments' delay, and the movement from the Senate 
towards the east front began, the justices of the Supreme 
Court, in cap and gown, heading the procession. As soon 
as the large company was seated on the platform erected on 
the east portico of the Capitol, Mr. Lincoln arose and ad- 
vanced to the front, where he was introduced by his friend, 
Senator Baker, of Oregon. He carried a cane and a little 
roll — the manuscript of his inaugural address. There was 
a moment's pause after the introduction, as he vainly looked 
for a spot where he might place his high silk hat. Stephen 
A. Douglas, the political antagonist of his whole public life, 
the man who had pressed him hardest in the campaign of 
i860, was seated just behind him. Douglas stepped forward 
quickly, and took the hat which Mr. Lincoln held helplessly 
in his hand. " If I can't be President," he whispered smil- 
ingly to Mrs. Brown, a cousin of Mrs. Lincoln and a mem- 
ber of the President's party, " I at least can hold his hat." 

This simple act of courtesy was really the most significant 
incident of the day, and after the inaugural the most dis- 

"Douglas's conduct can not be overpraised," wrote the 
" Public Man " in his " Diary." " I saw him for a moment 
in the morning, when he told me that he meant to put him- 
self as prominently forward in the ceremonies as he properly 
could, and to leave no doubt on any one's mind of his de- 


termination to stand by the new Administration in the per* 
formance of its first great duty to maintain the Union." 

Adjusting his spectacles and unrolling his manuscript, the 
President-elect turned his eyes upon the faces of the throng 
before him. It was the largest gathering that had been seen 
at any inauguration up to that date, variously estimated at 
from fifty thousand to one hundred thousand. Who of the 
men that composed it were his friends, who his enemies, he 
could not tell; but he did know that almost every one of 
them was waiting with painful eagerness to hear what 
answer he would make there to the questions they had been 
hurling at his head since his election. 

Six weeks before, when he wrote the document, he had 
determined to answer some of their questions. The first of 
these was, " Will Mr. Lincoln stand by the platform of the 
Republican party ? " He meant to open his address with this 
reply : 

The [more] modern custom of electing a Chief Magistrate 
upon a previously declared platform of principles supersedes, 
in a great measure, the necessity of restating those principles 
in an address of this sort. Upon the plainest grounds of 
good faith, one so elected is not at liberty to shift his posi- 

Having been so elected upon the Chicago platform, and 
while I would repeat nothing in it of aspersion or epithet or 
question of motive against any man or party, I hold myself 
bound by duty, as well as impelled by inclination, to follow, 
within the executive sphere, the principles therein declared. 
By no other course could I meet the reasonable expectations 
of the country. 

But these paragraphs were not read. On reaching Wash- 
ington in February, Mr. Lincoln's first act had been to give 
to Mr. Seward a copy of the paper he had prepared, and to 
ask for his criticisms. Of the paragraphs quoted above, Mr. 
Seward wrotej 


I declare to you my conviction that the second and third 
paragraphs, even if modified as I propose in my amendments, 
will give such advantages to the Disunionists that Virginia 
and Maryland will secede, and we shall, within ninety, per- 
haps within sixty, days, be obliged to fight the South for this 
Capital, with a divided North for our reliance. 

Mr. Lincoln dropped the paragraphs, and began by an- 
swering another question : " Does the President intend to 
interfere with the property of the South ? " 

" Apprehension seems to exist/' he said, " among the peo- 
ple of the Southern States that by the accession of a Repub- 
lican administration their property and their peace and per- 
sonal security are to be endangered. There has never been 
any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the 
most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed 
and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all 
the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I 
do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that 
' 1 have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with 
the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I 
believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclina- 
tion to do so. Those who nominated and elected me did so 
with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar 
declarations, and had never recanted them/' 

He followed this conciliatory statement by a full answer 
to the question, " Will Mr. Lincoln repeal the fugitive slave 

" There is much controversy about the delivering up of 
fugitives from service or labor. The clause I now read is as 
plainly written in the Constitution as any other of its pro- 
visions : 

" * No person held to service or labor in one State, under 
the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence 
of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such 
service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the 
party to whom such service or labor may be due.' 

" It is scarcely questioned that this provision was intended 


by those who made it for the reclaiming of what we call 
fugitive slaves, and the intention of the lawgiver is the law. 
All members of Congress swear their support to the whole 
Constitution — to this provision as much as to any other. To 
the proposition, then, that slaves whose cases come within 
the terms of this clause * shall be delivered up,' their oaths are 
unanimous. " 

Next he took up the question of Secession, " Has a State 
the right to go out of the Union if it wants to ? " 

I hold that, in contemplation of universal law and of 
the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual. 
Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental 
law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no 
government proper ever had a provision in its organic law 
for its own termination. . . . Again, if the United 
States be not a government proper, but an association of 
States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, 
be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties who made 
it? One party to a contract may violate it — break it, so to 
speak; but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it? 
. . . It follows from these views that no State, upon its 
own mere motion, can lawfully get out of the Union; that 
resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void; and 
that acts of violence, within any State or States, against the 
authority of the United States, are insurrectionary or revolu- 
tionary, according to circumstances. 

The answer to this question led him directly to the point 
on which the public was most deeply stirred at that moment. 
What did he intend to do about enforcing laws in States 
which had repudiated Federal authority; what about the 
property seized by the Southern States ? 

" .... to the extent of my ability," he answered, 
" I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins 
upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed 
in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty 
on my part ; and I shall perform it so far as practicable, un- 


less my rightful masters, the American people, shall with- 
hold the requisite means, or in some authoritative manner 
direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a 
menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that 
it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself. 

" In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence ; 
and there shall be none, unless it be forced upon the national 
authority. The power confided to me will be used to 
hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging 
to the government, and to collect the duties and imposts ; but 
beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will 
be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people 

In his original copy of the inaugural address Mr. Lincoln 
wrote, " All the power at my disposal will be used to reclaim 
the public property and places which have fallen; to hold, oc- 
cupy, and possess these, and all other property and places be- 
longing to the government." At the suggestion of his friend, 
the Hon. O. H. Browning, of Illinois, he dropped the words 
" to reclaim the public property and places which have 
fallen." Mr. Seward disapproved of the entire selection and 
prepared a non-committal substitute. Mr. Lincoln, how- 
ever, retained his own sentences. 

The foregoing quotations are a fairly complete expression 
of what may be called Mr. Lincoln's policy at the beginning 
of his administration. He followed this statement of his 
principle by an appeal and a warning to those who really 
loved the Union and who yet were ready for the " destruc- 
tion of the national fabric with all its benefits, its memories 
and its hopes." 

" Will you hazard so desperate a step while there is any 
possibility that any portion of the ills you fly from have no 
real existence ? Will you, while the certain ills you fly to are 
greater than all the real ones you fly from — will you risk the 
commission of so fearful a mistake ? 


" Physically speaking, we cannot separate. We cannot fe» 
move our respective sections from each other, nor build an 
impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may 
be divorced, and go out of the presence and beyond the reach 
of each other ; but the different parts of our country cannot 
do this. They cannot but remain face to face, and inter- 
course, either amicable or hostile, must continue between 
them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more 
advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than be- 
fore? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can 
make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced be- 
tween aliens than laws can among friends? Suppose you 
go to war, you cannot fight always; and when, after much 
loss on both sides, and no gain on either, you cease fighting, 
the identical old questions as to terms of intercourse are 
again upon you 

Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ulti- 
mate justice of the people ? Is there any better or equal hope 
in the world ? In our present differences is either party with- 
out faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of 
Nations, with His eternal truth and justice, be on your side 
of the North, or on yours of the South, that truth and that 
justice will surely prevail by the judgment of this great 
tribunal of the American people. . 

My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon 
this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking 
time. If there be an object to hurry any of you in hot haste 
to a step which you would never take deliberately, that ob- 
ject will be frustrated by taking time; but no good object 
can be frustrated by it. Such of you as are now dissatisfied, 
still have the old Constitution unimpaired, and, on the sen- 
sitive point, the laws of your own framing under it; while 
the new administration will have no immediate power, if it 
would, to change either. If it were admitted that you who 
are dissatisfied hold the right side in the dispute, there still 
is no single good reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, 
patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has 
never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to 
adjust in the best way all our present difficulty. 

In your hands? my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and 


not in mine is the momentous issue of civil war. The gov- 
ernment will not assail you. You can have no conflict with- 
out being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath 
registered in heaven to destroy the government, while / 
shall have the most solemn one to " preserve, protect, and 
defend it." 

With this last paragraph Mr. Lincoln had meant to close 
chis his first address to the nation. Mr. Seward objected, 
and submitted two suggestions for a closing; one of his 
paragraphs read as follows : 

I close. We are not, we must not be, aliens or enemies, 
but fellow-countrymen and brethren. Although passion has 
strained our bonds of affection too hardly, they must not, I 
am sure they will not be broken. The mystic chords which, 
proceeding from so many battlefields and so many patriotic 
graves, pass through all the hearts and all hearths in this 
broad continent of ours, will yet again harmonize in their 
ancient music when breathed upon by the guardian angel of 
the nation. 

Mr. Lincoln made a few changes in the paragraphs quoted, 
and rewrote the above suggestion of Mr. Seward, making of 
it the now famous closing words :* 

I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We 
must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it 
must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords 
of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot 
grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this 
broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when 
again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of 
our nature. 

" Mr. Lincoln read his inaugural," says Mr. Harlan in 
his unpublished " Recollections of Abraham Lincoln," " in 

* The reader interested in the first inaugural of Mr. Lincoln should 
not fail to read the admirable chapter on the subject in Vol. III. of 
Nicolay and Hay's Life of Abraham Lincoln, where Mr. Seward's criti- 
cisms are given in full. 


a clear, (distinct, and musical voice, which seemed to be heard 
and distinctly understood to the very outskirts of this vast 
concourse of his fellow-citizens. At its conclusion, he turned 
partially around on his left, facing the justices of the Su- 
preme Court, and said, ' I am now ready to take the oath 
prescribed by the Constitution/ which was then administered 
by Chief Justice Taney, the President saluting the Bible with 
his lips. 

" At that moment, in response to a signal, batteries of field 
guns, stationed a mile or so away, commenced firing a na- 
tional salute, in honor of the nation's new chief. And Mr. 
Buchanan, now a private citizen, escorted President Lincoln 
to the Executive Mansion, followed by a multitude of peo- 

" What do you think of it ? " was the question this crowd 
was asking as it left the scene of the inauguration. Through- 
out the day, on every corner of Washington, and by night on 
every corner of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Buffalo, 
and every other city and town of the country reached by the 
telegraph, men were asking the same question. The an- 
swers showed that the address was not the equivocal docu- 
ment Mr. Seward had tried to make it. 

" It is marked," said the New York " Tribune " of March 
5, " by no feeble expression. * He who runs may read ' it; 
and to twenty millions of people it will carry the tidings, 
good or not, as the case may be, that the Federal Government 
of the United States is still in existence, with a Man at the 
head of it." 

" The inaugural is not a crude performance," said the New 
York " Herald ; " " it abounds in traits of craft and cun- 
ning ; it is neither candid nor statesmanlike, nor does it pos- 
sess any essential of dignity or patriotism. It would have 
caused a Washington to mourn, and would have inspired 
Jefferson, Madison, or Jackson with contempt." 

" Our community has not been disappointed, and exhibited 


very little feeling on the subject," telegraphed Charleston, 
South Carolina. "They are content to leave Mr. Lincoln 
and the inaugural in the hands of Jefferson Davis and the 
Congress of the Confederate States." 

" The Pennsylvanian " declared it " a tiger's claw con- 
cealed under the fur of Sewardism." While "The Atlas 
and Argus," of Albany, characterized it as " weak, rambling, 
loose-jointed," and as " inviting civil war." 

From Charleston, South Carolina, came the dispatch, 
" Our community has not been disappointed, and exhibited 
very little feeling on the subject. They are content to leave 
Mr. Lincoln and the inaugural in the hands of Jefferson 
Davis and the Congress of the Confederate States." In New 
Orleans the assertion that the ordinance was void and that 
Federal property must be taken and held was considered a 
declaration of war. At Montgomery the head of the Con- 
federacy, the universal feeling provoked by the inaugural was 
that war was inevitable. 

The literary form of the document aroused general com- 

" The style of the address is as characteristic as its tem- 
per," said the Boston " Transcript." " It has not one fawn- 
ing expression in the whole course of its firm and explicit 
statements. The language is level to the popular mind — the 
plain, homespun language of a man accustomed to talk with 
* the folks ' and ' the neighbors; ' the language of a man of 
vital common-sense, whose words exactly fit in his facts and 

This " homespun language " was a shock to many. The 
Toronto " Globe " found the address of " a tawdry, corrupt, 
school-boy style." And ex-President Tyler complained to 
Francis Lieber of its grammar. Lieber replied : 

" You complain of the bad grammar of President Lin- 
coln's message. We have to look at other things, just now. 


than grammar, For aught I know, the last resolution of the 
South Carolina Convention may have been worded in suffi- 
ciently good grammar, but it is an attempt, unique in its dis- 
gracefulness, to whitewash an act of the dirtiest infamy. 
Let us leave grammar alone in these days of shame, and 
rather ask whether people act according to the first and 
simplest rules of morals and of honor." 

The question which most deeply stirred the country, how- 
ever, was " Does Lincoln mean what he says ? Will he really 
use the power confided to him to hold, occupy, and possess 
the property and places belonging to the government? " The 
President was called upon for an answer sooner than he had 
expected. Almost the first thing brought to his attention on 
the morning of his first full day in office (March 5) was 
a letter from Major Robert Anderson, the officer in command 
of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, saying that he had 
but a week's provisions, and that if the place was to be re-en- 
forced so that it could be held, it would take 20,000 " good 
and well-disciplined men " to do it. 

A graver matter the new President could not have been 
called upon to decide, for all the issues between North and 
South were at that moment focused in the fate of Fort Sum- 
ter. A series of dramatic incidents had given the fort this 
peculiar prominence. At the time of Mr. Lincoln's election 
Charleston Harbor was commanded by Major Anderson. 
Although there were three forts in the harbor, but one was 
garrisoned, Fort Moultrie, and that not the strongest in posi- 
tion. Not long after the election Anderson, himself a South- 
erner, thoroughly familiar with the feeling in Charleston, 
wrote the War Department that if the harbor was to be held 
by the United States, Fort Sumter and Castle Pinckey must 
be garrisoned. Later he repeated this warning. President 
Buchanan was loath to heed him. He feared irritating the 
South Carolinians. Instead of re-enforcements he sent An- 


derson orders to hold the forts but to do nothing which 
would cause a collision. At the same time he entered into a 
half-contract with the South Carolina Congressmen not to 
re-enforce Anderson if the State did not attack him. All 
through the early winter Anderson remained in Moultrie, 
his position constantly becoming more dangerous. Interest 
in him increased with his peril, and the discussion as to 
whether the government should relieve, recall, or let him 
alone, waxed more and more excited. 

Anderson had seen from the first that if the South Caro- 
linians attempted to seize Moultrie he could not sustain his 
position. Accordingly, on the night of December 26 he 
spiked the guns of that fort and secretly transferred his force 
to Sumter, an almost impregnable position in the centre of 
the harbor. In the South the uproar over this act was terrific. 
The administration was accused of treachery. It in turn cen- 
sured Anderson, though he had acted exactly within his or- 
ders which gave him the right to occupy whichever fort he 
thought best. In the North there was an outburst of exulta- 
tion. It was the first act in defense of United States prop- 
erty, and Anderson became at once a popular hero and re- 
enforcements for him were vehemently demanded. 

Early in January Buchanan yielded to the pressure and 
sent the Star of the West with supplies. The vessel was 
fired on by the South Carolinians as she entered the harbor, 
and retired. This hostile act did not quicken the sluggish 
blood of the administration. Indeed, a quasi-agreement with 
the Governor followed, that if the fort was not attacked no 
further attempt would be made to re-enforce it, and there the 
matter stood when Mr. Lincoln on the morning of March 5 
received Anderson's letter. 

What was to be done ? The garrison must not be allowed 
to starve ; but evidently 20,000 disciplined men could not be 
had to relieve it— -the whole United States army numbered 


but 16,000. But if Mr. Lincoln could not relieve it, how 
could he surrender it ? The effect of any weakening or com- 
promise in his own position was perfectly clear to him. 
" When Anderson goes out of Fort Sumter," he said rue- 
fully, "I shall have to go out of the White House." The exact 
way in which he looked at the matter he stated later to Con- 
gress, in substantially the following words : 

To abandon that position, under the circumstances, would 
have been utterly ruinous ; the necessity under which it was 
done would not have been fully understood; by many it 
would have been construed as a part of a voluntary policy ; at 
home it would have discouraged the friends of the Union, 
emboldened its adversaries, and gone far to insure to the 
latter a recognition abroad ; in fact, it would have been our 
national destruction consummated. This could not be al- 

In his dilemma he sought the advice of the Commander- 
in-Chief of the Army, General Scott, who told him sadly that 
" evacuation seemed almost inevitable." 

Unwilling to decide at once, Lincoln devised a manoeuvre 
by which he hoped to shift public attention from Fort Sumter 
to Fort Pickens, in Pensacola Harbor. The situation of the 
two forts was similar, although that at Sumter was more 
critical and interested the public far more intensely. It 
seemed to Mr. Lincoln that if Fort Pickens could be re-en- 
forced, this would be a clear enough indication to both sec- 
tions that he meant what he had said in his inaugural ad- 
dress, and after it had been accomplished the North would 
accept the evacuation of Fort Sumter as a military necessity, 
and on March 11 he sent an order that troops which had 
been sent to Pensacola in January by Mr. Buchanan, but 
never landed, should be placed in Fort Pickens. 

As this order went by sea, it was necessarily some time 
before it arrived. Night and day during this interval Lin- 


coin was busy in a series of original investigations of all sides 
of the Sumter question. While doing his utmost to obtain 
such information as would enable him to come to an intelli* 
gent conclusion, he was beset by both North and South. A 
report went out early in the month that Sumter was to be 
evacuated. It could not be verified ; but it spread generally 
until there was, particularly in Washington, around Mr. Lin- 
coln, a fever of excitement. Finally, on March 25, the 
Senate asked for the correspondence of Anderson. The 
President did not believe the time had come, however, to take 
the public into his confidence, and he replied : 

. . . On examination of the correspondence thus called 
for, I have, with the highest respect for the Senate, come to 
the conclusion that at the present moment the publication of 
it would be inexpedient. 

Three days later, March 28, while he still was uncertain 
whether his order had reached Fort Pickens or not, General 
Scott, who was ill, sent a letter over to the White House, 
advising Mr. Lincoln to abandon both Sumter and Pickens. 
Coming from such a source, the letter was a heavy blow to 
the President. One of the men he most trusted had failed to 
recognize that the policy he had laid down in his inaugural 
address was serious and intended to be acted upon. It was 
time to do something. Summoning an officer from the Navy 
Department, he asked him to prepare at once a plan for a 
relief expedition to Fort Sumter. That night Mr. Lincoln 
gave his first state dinner. It was a large affair, many 
friends besides the members of the Cabinet being present. 
The conversation was animated, and Lincoln was seemingly 
in excellent spirits. W. H. Russell, the correspondent of th(. 
London "Times," was present, and he notes in his Diary how 
Lincoln used anecdotes in his conversation that evening - 


" Mr. Bates was remonstrating, apparently, against the 
appointment of some indifferent lawyer to a place of judicial 
importance," says Mr. Russell. " The President interposed 
with, ' Come now, Bates, he's not half as bad as you 
think. Besides that, I must tell you he did me a good turn 
long ago. When I took to the law, I was going to court one 
morning, with some ten or twelve miles of bad road before 
me, and I had no horse. The judge overtook me in his 
wagon. 6 Hello, Lincoln ! Are you not going to the court- 
house ? Come in, and I'll give you a seat.' Well, I got in, 
and the judge went on reading his papers. Presently the 
wagon struck a stump on one side of the road ; then it hopped 
off to the other. I looked out, and I saw the driver was 
jerking from side to side in his seat ; so says I, ' Judge, I 
think your coachman has been taking a little drop too much 
this morning.' ' Well, I declare, Lincoln,' said he, ' I should 
not wonder if you are right ; for he has nearly upset me half a 
dozen times since starting.' So putting his head out of the 
window, he shouted, ' Why, you infernal scoundrel, you are 
drunk ! ' Upon which, pulling up his horses, and turning 
round with great gravity, the coachman said, ' By gorra ! 
that's the first rightful decision you have given for the last 
twelvemonth.' While the company were laughing, the Pres- 
ident beat a quiet retreat from the neighborhood of the At- 

Lincoln's story-telling that evening was used, as often hap- 
pened, to cover a serious mental struggle. After many of 
his guests had retired, he called his Cabinet aside, and agi- 
tatedly told them of General Scott's letter. He then asked 
them to meet him the next day. That night the President 
did not close his eyes in sleep. The moment had come, as it 
must come, at one time or another, to every President 
of the United States, when his vote was the only vote in the 
Cabinet — the only vote in the country. The decision and 
orders he should give the next day might plunge the country 
into civil war. Could he escape it ? All night he went over 
the problem, but his watch only strengthened his purpose 


When the Cabinet met, the President put the case before 
them in such a light that, on his asking the members to give 
him their views, only two, Seward and Smith, opposed the 
relief of Fort Sumter. 

That day Lincoln gave his order that the expedition be 
prepared and ready to sail on April 6. Two days later, he 
ordered that an expedition for the relief of Fort Pickens be 
prepared. With the latter order he sent a verbal message to 
General Scott : 

Tell him that I wish this thing done, and not to let it fail 
unless he can show that I have refused him something he 
asked for. 

By April 6, news reached Mr. Lincoln from Fort Pick- 
ens. The commander of the vessel on which the troops were 
quartered, acting upon the armistice of Mr. Buchanan, had 
refused to land the re-enforcements. To relieve Sumter was 
the only alternative, and Lincoln immediately ordered for- 
ward the expeditions he had been preparing. At the same 
time he wrote with his own hand instructions for an agent 
whom he sent to Charleston to notify the Governor of South 
Carolina that an effort would be made to supply Fort Sumter 
with provisions only. 

At last it was evident to the members of the Cabinet and to 
others in the secret that Mr. Lincoln did mean what he had 
said in his inaugural address : " The power confided to me 
will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and 
places belonging to the government." 

Mr. Lincoln had another matter on hand at the moment 
as vital as the relief of Sumter — how to prevent further ac- 
cessions to the Southern Confederacy. When he was in- 
augurated, seven of the slave-holding States had left the 
Union. In two others, Virginia and Missouri, conventions 
were in session considering secession; but in both, Union 


sentiment predominated. Three others, North Carolina, 
Kentucky, and Tennessee, had by popular vote decided to 
hold no convention. Maryland had already held an irregular 
State assembly, but nothing had been accomplished by the 
separatists. Mr. Lincoln's problem was how to strengthen 
this surviving Union sentiment sufficiently to prevent seces- 
sion in case the Administration was forced to relieve Sumter. 
Evidently he could do nothing at the moment but inform 
himself as accurately as possible, by correspondence and con- 
ferences, of the temper of the people and put himself into 
relations with men in each State on whom he could rely in 
case of emergency. He did this with care and persistency, 
and so effectively that later, when matters became more seri- 
ous, visitors from the doubtful States often expressed their 
amazement at the President's knowledge of the sentiments 
and conditions of their parts of the country. 

The first State in which Lincoln attempted any active in- 
terference in favor of the Union was one which had already 
voted itself out, Texas. A conflict had arisen there between 
the Southern party and the Governor, Sam Houston, and on 
March 18 the latter had been deposed. When Mr. Lincoln 
heard of this, he decided to try to get a message to the Gov- 
ernor, offering United States support if he would put himself 
at the head of the Union party of the State. The messenger 
who carried this word to Houston was Mr. G. H. Giddings, 
at that time the holder of the contract for carrying the mails 
by the El Paso route to California. He was taken to the 
White House by his friend Postmaster-General Blair, and 
gives the following account of what occurred at the inter- 
view. It is one of the very few descriptions of Mr. Lincoln 
in a Cabinet meeting which we have : 

I was taken into the Cabinet room, and introduced by the 
Postmaster-General to President Lincoln and all the mem- 
bers of the Cabinet, who were there apparently waiting for 


us. The President asked me to take a seat at the big table 
next to him. He then said to me, " You have been highly 
recommended to me as a reliable man by the Postmaster- 
General, the Hon. G. A. Grow, and others. They tell me 
that you are an old citizen of Texas and about to return to 
your home. My object in wishing to see you is that I desire 
to intrust to you a secret message to Governor Houston/' 

I said, " Yes, Mr. President, I should have left to-night 
but for this invitation to call on you, which was a great 
pleasure to me." 

He then asked me a great many questions, where I was 
born, when I went to Texas, what I had been doing there, 
how I liked the State, and what was the public sentiment in 
Texas in regard to the prospects of a war — all of which I 
answered to the best of my ability. 

He then said to me that the message was of such im- 
portance that, before handing it to me, he would read it to 
me. Before beginning to read he said, " This is a confi- 
dential and secret message. No one besides my Cabinet and 
myself knows anything about it, and we are all sworn to 
secrecy. I am going to swear you in as one of my Cabinet." 
And then he said to me in a jocular way, " Hold up your 
right hand," which I did. " Now," said he, "consider your- 
self a member of my Cabinet." 

He then read the message, explaining his meaning at times 
as he was reading it. The message was written in big bold 
hand, on large sheets of paper, and consisted of several pages. 
It was signed " A. Lincoln." I cannot give the exact words 
of the message, but the substance was as follows : 

It referred first to the surrender, by General Twiggs, of 
the United States troops, forts, and property in Texas to the 
rebels, and offered to appoint Governor Houston a major- 
general in the United States army in case he would accept. 
It authorized him to take full command in Texas, taking 
charge of all Government property and such of the old army 
as he could get together, and to recruit 100,000 men, if pos- 
sible, and to hold Texas in the Union. In case he did accept, 
the President promised to support him with the whole power 
of the Government, both of the army and navy. After hear- 
ing the message read, I suggested to the President that it was 


of such importance that perhaps he had better send it by some 
government official. 

" No/' he said. " Those Texans would hang any official 
caught with that paper." 

I replied that they would hang me, too, if they caught me 
with that message. 

" I do not wish to have you hung," he replied ; " and if you 
think there is so much danger, I will not ask you to take it, 
although I am anxious to get it to Governor Houston as soon 
as possible. As you live in Texas and are about to return, I 
was in hopes you would take it." 

" I will take the message with much pleasure," I replied, 
" as you personally request it, and will deliver it safely to 
Governor Houston, only stipulating that it shall remain as 
one of your Cabinet secrets." This he assured me should be 

I remained there until about midnight. The question of 
war or no war was discussed by different members of the 
Cabinet. Mr. Seward said there would be no war. 
The President said he hoped and prayed that there would 
not be a war. I said to Mr. Seward that, as he knew, Con- 
gress had extended my overland mail contract one contract 
term and doubled the service; that to put the increased ser- 
vice in operation would cost me over $50,000, which would 
be lost in case of war ; and I asked him what I had better 

"There will be no war," Mr. Seward said; ''go ahead 
and put on the increased service. You will run no risk in 
doing so." He said that Humphrey Marshall and some oth- 
ers, whose names I have forgotten, had left Washington a 
few days before that, to go into the border States and hold 
public meetings and ask the South to meet the North and 
have a National Convention for the purpose of amending the 
Constitution. He had no doubt, he said, that this would be 
done, and that, so far as he was individually concerned, he 
would prefer giving the Southern brothers the parchment 
and let them enter the amendment to the Constitution to suit 
themselves rather than have a civil war. He said, in all 
probability, some arrangements would be made to pay for 
the skives and the gradual abolishment of slavery. 


With these momentous affairs on hand, Lincoln needed 
freedom from trivial and personal matters, if ever a President 
needed it; yet one who reads the documents of the period 
would infer that his entire time was spent in appointing post- 
masters. There was no escape for him. The office-seekers 
had seized Washington, and were making the White House 
their headquarters. 

*' There were days," says William O. Stoddard, " when 
the throng of eager applicants for office filled the broad stair- 
case to its lower steps; the corridors of the first floor; the 
famous East room ; the private parlors ; while anxious groups 
and individuals paraded up and down the outer porch, the 
walks, and the avenue." 

They even attacked Lincoln on the street. One day as his 
carriage rolled up the avenue, a man stopped it and attempted 
to present his application and credentials. " No, no," said 
Mr. Lincoln indignantly, " I won't open shop in the street." 

This raid had begun in Springfield with the election. As 
Mr. Lincoln had been elected without bargains on his part, 
he did not propose to consider minor appointments until actu- 
ally inaugurated. 

" I have made up my mind," he said to a visitor a few days 
after his election, " not to be badgered about these places. I 
have promised nothing high or low, and will not. By-and- 
by, when I call somebody to me in the character of an ad- 
viser, we will examine the claims to the most responsible 
posts and decide what shall be done. As for the rest, I shall 
have enough to do without reading recommendations for 
country postmasters." 

All of the hundreds who had been put off in the winter, 
now reappeared in Washington. Now, Lincoln had clear no- 
tions of the use of the appointing power. One side should 
not gobble up everything, he declared ; but in the pressure of 


applications, it gave him the greatest difficulty to prevent this 
" gobbling up." Another rule he had adopted was not to 
appoint over the heads of his advisers. He preferred to win 
their consent to an appointment by tact rather than to make 
it by his own power. A case in point is disclosed in a letter 
he wrote to General Scott, in June, in which he said : 

Doubtless you begin to understand how disagreeable it is 
for me to do a thing arbitrarily when it is unsatisfactory to 
others associated with me. 

I very much wish to appoint Colonel Meigs Quartermas- 
ter-General, and yet General Cameron does not quite consent. 
I have come to know Colonel Meigs quite well for a short 
acquaintance, and, so far as I am capable of judging, I do 
not know one who combines the qualities of masculine intel- 
lect, learning, and experience of the right sort, and physical 
power of labor and endurance, so well as he. 

I know he has great confidence in you, always sustaining, 
so far as I have observed, your opinions against any differ- 
ing ones. 

You will lay me under one more obligation if you can and 
will use your influence to remove General Cameron's objec- 
tion. I scarcely need tell you I have nothing personal in this, 
having never seen or heard of Colonel Meigs until about the 
end of last March. 

But that he could appoint arbitrarily is certain from the 
following letter: 

. . . You must make a job of it, and provide a place 
for the bearer of this, Elias Wampole. Make a job of it with 
the collector and have it done. You can do it for me, and 
you must. 

In spite of the terrible pressure brought to bear upon him 
by the place-hunters ; in spite of the frequent dissatisfaction 
his appointments gave, and the abuse the disappointed heaped 
upon him, he rarely lost his patience, rarely was anything but 




■ 6 /, I 



» 1 

1 \> 



,,- -c 

I-' '-'■ " 


From a photograph taken by Brady, in the War Department Collection of Civil War Photographs. 


kind. His sense of humor aided him wonderfully in this par- 
ticular. The incongruity of a man in his position, and with 
the very life of the country at stake, pausing to appoint post- 
masters, struck him forcibly. " What is the matter, Mr. Lin- 
coln," said a friend one day, when he saw him looking par- 
ticularly grave and dispirited. " Has anything gone wrong 
at the front?" 

" No," said the President, with a tired smile. " It isn't 
the war ; it's the post-office at Brownsville, Missouri." 

The " Public Man " relates in his " Diary " the end of an 
interview he and a friend had with the President on 
March 7 : 

" He walked into the corridor with us ; and, as he bade us 

good-by and thanked for what he had told him, he 

again brightened up for a moment and asked him in an 
abrupt kind of way, laying his hand as he spoke with a queer 
but not uncivil familiarity on his shoulder, 'You haven't such 

a thing as a postmaster in your pocket, have you ? ' 

stared at him in astonishment, and I thought a little in alarm, 
as if he suspected a sudden attack of insanity; then Mr. Lin- 
coln went on : ' You see it seems to me kind of unnatural 
that you shouldn't have at least a postmaster in your pocket. 
Everybody I've seen for days past has had foreign ministers, 
and collectors, and all kinds, and I thought you couldn't have 
got in here without having at least a postmaster get into 
your pocket ! " 

The " strange bed-fellows " politics was constantly mak- 
ing always amused him. One day a man turned up who had 
letters of recommendation from the most prominent pair of 
enemies in the Republican party, Horace Greeley and Thur- 
low Weed. The President immediately did what he could 
for him: 

Mr. Adams is magnificently recommended; but the great 
point in his favor is that Thurlow Weed and Horace Gree- 
ley join in recommending: him I suppose the like never 


happened before, and never will again ; so that it is now of 
never. What say you ? 

A less obvious perplexity than the office-seekers for Mr. 
Lincoln at this period, though a no less real one, was the at- 
titude of his Secretary of State — his cheerful assumption 
that he, not Mr. Lincoln, was the final authority of the ad- 

Mr. Seward had been for years the leader of the Republi- 
can party. His defeat in the Chicago Convention of i860 
had been a terrible blow to a large number of people, though 
Seward himself had taken it nobly. " The Republican party 
was not made for Mr. Seward," he told his friends, " but Mr. 
Seward for the Republican party," and he went heartily into 
the campaign. But he believed, as many Republicans did, 
that Lincoln was unfit for the presidency, and that some one 
of his associates would be obliged to assume leadership. 
When Mr. Seward accepted the Secretaryship of State, he 
evidently did it with the idea that he was to be the Provi- 
dence of the administration. " It is inevitable," he wrote to 
his wife on December 28th, the very day he wrote to Mr. 
Lincoln of his acceptance. " I will try to save freedom and 
my country." A week later he wrote home, " I have as- 
sumed a sort of dictatorship for defense, and am laboring 
night and day with the cities and States. My hope, rather 
my confidence, is unabated." And again, on January 18th; 
" It seems to me if I am absent only eight days, this admin- 
istration, the Congress, and the District would fall into con- 
sternation and despair. I am the only hopeful, calm, con- 
ciliatory person here." 

When Lincoln arrived in Washington and asked Seward 

to read the inaugural address, the latter gave it the closest 

attention, modifying it to fit his own policy, and in defense 

of the changes he made, he wrote to the President-elect: 

' Only the soothing words which I have st>~k*n have saved 


us and carried us along thus far. Every loyal man, and in- 
deed every disloyal man, in the South will tell you this." 

He began his duties as Secretary of State with the same 
confidence in his call to be the real, if not the apparent, head 
of affairs. When the question of relieving Sumter came up, 
he believed that it was he who was managing the matter. 
" I wish I could tell you something of the political troubles 
of the country," he wrote home, " but I cannot find the time. 
They are enough to tax the wisdom of the wisest. Fort 
Sumter is in danger. Relief of it practically impossible. The 
commissioners from the Southern Confederacy are here. 
These cares fall chiefly on me." 

According to Mr. Welles, Secretary of the Navy, " con- 
fidence and mutual frankness on public affairs and matters 
pertaining to the government, particularly on what related 
to present and threatened disturbances, existed among all 
the members [of the cabinet], with the exception of Mr. 
Seward, who had, or affected, a certain mysterious knowl- 
edge which he was not prepared to impart." Mr. Welles 
asserts that Mr. Seward carried so far his assumption of the 
" cares " of Sumter and other questions as to meddle in the 
duties of his associates in the cabinet. He opposed regular 
cabinet meetings, and at first had his way. After Tuesdays 
and Fridays were set as cabinet days, he contended that it 
was not necessary that a member should come to the meet- 
ings unless especially summoned by Mr. Lincoln or him- 

If Mr. Seward had been less self-confident, he would 
have seen before the end of March that Mr. Lincoln had a 
mind of his own, and with it a quiet way of following its 
decisions. Others had seen this. For instance, he had had 
his own way about who should go into the cabinet. " There 
can be no doubt of it any longer," wrote the " Public Ma 
in his " Diary " on March 2, " this man from Illinois is no 


in the hands of Mr. Seward." Then there was the inaugu- 
ral address — it was his, not Mr. Seward's; and more than 
one prominent newspaper commented with astonishment 
on that fact. 

Nobody knew these facts better than the Secretary of 
State. He had discovered also that Mr. Lincoln attended 
to his business. " This President proposes to do all his 
work," he wrote to Mrs. Seward on March 16. He had 
received, too, at least one severe lesson, which ought to have 
shown him that it was Mr, Lincoln, not he, who was cast- 
ing the decisive vote in the cabinet. This was in reference 
to Sumter. During the period when the President was wait- 
ing to hear from Fort Pickens, commissioners from the 
Southern Confederacy had been in Washington. Mr. Sew- 
ard had not received them, but through a trusted agent he 
had assured them that Sumter would be evacuated. There 
is no proof, so far as I know, that Mr. Lincoln knew of this 
quasi-promise of his Secretary of State. As we have seen, 
he did not decide to order an expedition prepared to relieve 
the fort until March 29. From what we know of the 
character of the man, it is inconceivable that he should have 
authorized Mr. Seward to promise to do a thing which he 
had not yet decided to do. The Secretary assumed that, be- 
cause he believed in evacuation, it would follow, and he as- 
sured the Southern commissioners to that effect. Suddenly 
he realized that the President was not going to evacuate 
Sumter, that his representations to the Southerners were 
worthless, that he had been following a course which was 
bound to bring on the administration the charge of decep- 
tion and fraud. Yet all these things taught him nothing of 
the man he had to deal with, and on April 1 he sent Mr. 
Lincoln a letter in which he laid down an astounding policy 
— to make war on half Europe — and offered to tr»ke the 
reins of administration into his own hands. 


APRIL I, l86l. 

First. We are at the end of a month's administration, and 
yet without a policy, either domestic or foreign. 

Second. This, however, is not culpable, and it has even 
been unavoidable. The presence of the Senate, with the 
need to meet applications for patronage, have prevented at- 
tention to other and more grave matters. 

Third. But further delay to adopt and prosecute our poli- 
cies for both domestic and foreign affairs would not only 
bring scandal on the administration, but danger upon the 

Fourth. To do this we must dismiss the applicants for 
office. But how ? I suggest that we make the local appoint- 
ments forthwith, leaving foreign or general ones for ulterior 
and occasional action. 

Fifth. The policy at home. I am aware that my views 
are singular, and perhaps not sufficiently explained. My 
system is built upon this idea as a ruling one, namely, that 
we must 


upon slavery, or about slavery, for a question upon 


In other words, from what would be regarded as a party 
question, to one of patriotism or union. 

The occupation or evacuation of Fort Sumter, although 
not in fact a slavery or a party question, is so regarded. Wit- 
ness the temper manifested by the Republicans in the free 
States, and even by the Union men in the South. 

I would therefore terminate it as a safe means for chang- 
ing the issue. I deem it fortunate that the last administra- 
tion created the necessity. 

For the rest, I would simultaneously defend and re-enforce 
all the ports in the Gulf, and have the navy recalled from for- 
eign stations to be prepared for a blockade. Put the island 
of Key West under martial law. 

This will raise distinctly the question of union or disunion. 
I would maintain every fort and possession in the South. 



I would demand explanations from Spain and France, 
categorically, at once. 

I would seek explanations from Great Britain and Russia, 
and send agents into Canada, Mexico, and Central America 
to rouse a vigorous continental spirit of independence on this 
continent against European intervention. 

And, if satisfactory explanations are not received from 
Spain and France, 

Would convene Congress and declare war against them. 

But whatever policy we adopt, there must be an energetic 
prosecution of it. 

For this purpose it must be somebody's business to pursue 
and direct it incessantly. 

Either the President must do it himself, and be all the 
while active in it, or 

Devolve it on some member of his cabinet. Once adopted, 
debates on it must end, and all agree and abide. 

It is not in my especial province ; 

But I neither seek to evade nor assume responsibility. 

Mr. Lincoln replied: 

Executive Mansion, April I, 1861. 

Hon. W. H. Seward. 

My dear Sir: Since parting with you, I have been consid- 
ering your paper dated this day, and entitled " Some 
Thoughts for the President's Consideration." The first 
proposition in it is, "First, We are at the end of a month's 
administration, and yet without a policy, either domestic or 

At the beginning of that month, in the inaugural, I said : 
" The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and 
possess the property and places belonging to the government, 
and to collect the duties and imposts." This had your distinct 
approval at the time ; and taken in connection with the order 
I immediately gave General Scott, directing him to employ 


every means in his power to strengthen and hold the forts, 
comprises the exact domestic policy you now urge, with the 
single exception that it does not propose to abandon Fort 

Again, I do not perceive how the re-enforcement of Fort 
Sumter would be done on a slavery or a party issue, while 
that of Fort Pickens would be on a more national and pa- 
triotic one. 

The news received yesterday in regard to St. Domingo 
certainly brings a new item within the range of our foreign 
policy ; but up to that time we have been preparing circulars 
and instructions to ministers and the like, all in perfect har^ 
mony, without even a suggestion that we had no foreign 

Upon your closing proposition — that " whatever policy 
we adopt, there must be an energetic prosecution of it. 

" For this purpose it must be somebody's business to pur- 
sue and direct it incessantly. 

" Either the President must do it himself, and be all the 
while active in it, or 

" Devolve it on some member of his cabinet. Once adopted, 
debates on it must end, and all agree and abide " — I remark 
that if this must be done, I must do it. When a general line 
of policy is adopted, I apprehend there is no danger of its 
being changed without good reason, or continuing to be a 
subject of unnecessary debate ; still, upon points arising in its 
progress I wish, and suppose I am entitled to have, the ad- 
vice of all the cabinet. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln.* 

The magnanimity of this letter was only excelled by the 
President's treatment of the matter. He never revealed Mr. 
Seward's amazing proposition to any one but Mr. Nicolay, 
his private secretary, and it never reached the public until 
Nicolay and Hay published it. Mr. Lincoln's action in this 
matter, and his handling of the events which followed, 

* Abraham Lincoln, a History, Vol. III. By Nicolay and Hay. 


gradually dispelled Mr. Seward's illusion. By June, the Sec- 
retary had begun to understand Mr. Lincoln. He was quick 
and generous to acknowledge his power. " Executive force 
and vigor are rare qualities," he wrote to Mrs. Seward on 
June 5. " The President is the best of us." 



It was on April 9, 1861, that the expedition ordered by 
President Lincoln for the relief of Fort Sumter sailed from 
New York. The day before, the Governor of South Carolina 
had received from the President the notification sent on the 
6th that he might expect an attempt to be made to provision 
the fort. Ever since Mr. Lincoln's inauguration the Con- 
federate government had been watching intently the new 
Administration's course. Sumter, it was resolved, should 
never be captured, re-enforced, even provisioned. When it 
was certain that an expedition had started for its relief an 
order to attack the fort was given, and it was bombarded 
until it fell. 

The bombardment of Sumter began at half past four 
o'clock in the morning of April 12. All that day rumors 
and private telegrams came to the White House reporting 
the progress of the attack and Anderson's heroic defense, but 
there was nothing official. By evening, however, there was 
no doubt that Fort Sumter was being reduced. Mr. Lincoln 
was already formulating his plan of action, his one question 
to the excited visitors who called upon him being, " Will 
your State support me with military power ? " The way in 
which the matter presented itself to his mind he stated clearly 
to Congress, when that body next came together : 

. . . The assault upon and reduction of Fort Sumter 
was in no sense a matter of self-defense on the part of the 

(3) 33 


assailants. They well knew that the garrison in the fort 
could by no possibility commit aggression upon them. They 
knew — they were expressly notified — that the giving of 
bread to the few brave and hungry men of the garrison was 
all which would on that occasion be attempted, unless them- 
selves, by resisting so much, should provoke more. They 
knew that this government desired to keep the garrison in 
the fort, not to assail them, but merely to maintain visible pos- 
session, and thus to preserve the Union from actual and im- 
mediate dissolution — trusting, as hereinbefore stated, to time, 
discussion, and the ballot-box for final adjustment; and they 
assailed and reduced the fort for precisely the reverse ob- 
ject — to drive out the visible authority of the Federal Union, 
and thus force it to immediate dissolution. . . . 

And this issue embraces more than the fate of these United 
States. It presents to the whole family of man the question 
whether a constitutional republic or democracy — a govern- 
ment of the people by the same people — can or can not main- 
tain its territorial integrity against its own domestic 
foes. . . . 

So viewing the issue, no choice was left but to call out the 
war power of the government; and so to resist force em- 
ployed for its destruction, by force for its preservation. 

This was not Mr. Lincoln's view alone. It was the view of 
the North. And when, on April 15, he issued a proclama- 
tion calling for 75,000 militia and appealing to all loyal citi- 
zens " to favor, facilitate, and aid this effort to maintain the 
honor, the integrity, and the existence of our National 
Union, and the perpetuity of popular government, and to re- 
dress wrongs already long enough endured," there was an 
immediate and overwhelming response. The telegraph of 
the very day of the proclamation announced that in almost 
every city and town of the North volunteer regiments were 
forming and that Union mass meetings were in session in 
halls and churches and public squares. " What portion of 
the 75,000 militia you call for do you give to Ohio? We wiD 


furnish the largest number you will receive/' telegraphed the 
Governor of that State in response to the President's mes- 
sage. Indiana, whose quota was less than 5,000 men, tele- 
graphed back that 10,000 were ready. " We will furnish 
you the regiments in thirty days if you want them, and 50,- 
000 men if you need them/' telegraphed Zachariah Chandler 
from Michigan. So rapidly did men come in under this 
call for 75,000, that in spite of the efforts of the War De- 
partment to keep the number down, it swelled to 91,816. 

It was not troops alone that were offered. Banks and 
private individuals offered money and credit. Supplies of 
every sort were put at the government's order. Corpora- 
tions sent their presidents to Washington, offering rail- 
roads and factories. Stephen Douglas sought Lincoln 
and offered all his splendid power to the Administration. 
Edward Everett, who had strongly sympathized with the 
South, declared for the movement. Individuals suspected of 
Southern sympathy were promptly hooted off the streets and 
newspapers which had been advocating disunion were forced 
to hang out the Stars and Stripes, or suffer a mob to raze 
their establishments. The fall of Summer seemed for the 
moment to make a unit of the North. 

Patriotic fervor was intensified by the satisfaction that at 
last the long tension was over. Nor was this strange. For 
months the war fever had been burning in the veins of both 
North and South. At times compromise had seemed cer- 
tain, then suddenly no one knew why it seemed as if another 
twenty-four hours would plunge the country into war. Many 
a public man on both sides had grown thin and haggard in 
wrestling with the terrible problem that winter and spring. 
Congressmen in Washington had walked the streets argu- 
ing, groaning, seeking an escape. Many a sleepless man had 
tossed nightly on his bed until daybreak, then rose to smoke 
and walk, always pursued by the same problems and never 


seeing any final solution but war. The struggle had 
penetrated the social circles, particularly in border cities like 
Washington, and rarely did people assemble that hot discus- 
sions did not rise. The very children in the schools took up 
the debates, and for many weeks in Washington the school 
grounds were the scenes of small daily quarrels, ending often 
in blows and tears. The fall of Sumter ended this exhaust- 
ing uncertainty. Henceforth there was nothing to do but 
range yourself on one side or the other and fight it out. 

But if Sumter unified the sentiment of the North, it did 
no less for the South. Henceforth there was but one voice 
in the Southern States, and that for the Confederacy. North 
Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkan- 
sas, all refused the President's call for troops. In Virginia 
a convention was in session, whose members up to that day 
were in the main for the Union. On April ij that conven- 
tion passed an ordinance of secession. The next day the 
arsenal at Harper's Ferry was seized by the State, and the 
Southern Confederacy at Montgomery was informed that 
Virginia was open to its troops. The line of hostility had 
reached the very boundaries of Washington. The bluffs 
across the Potomac, now beautiful in the first green of 
spring, on which Mr. Lincoln looked every morning from 
his windows in the White House, were no Jonger in his 
country. They belonged to the enemy. 

With the news of the secession of Virginia, there /eached 
Washington on Thursday, April 18, a rumor that a large 
Confederate force was marching on the city. Now there 
were not over 2,500 armed men in Washington. Regiments 
were known to be on their way from Pennsylvania and 
Massachusetts, but nobody could say when they would ar- 
rive. Washington might be razed to the ground before they 
came. A hurried effort at defense was at once made. 
Women and children were sent out of the city. At the 


White House, Mrs. Lincoln was urged to go with her boys, 
but she refused positively. "I am as safe as Mr. Lincoln, 
and I shall not leave him," was her stout answer. 

Guards were stationed at every approach to the city, cane 
non were planted in commanding positions, while " govern- 
ment officials, foreign ministers, governors, senators, office- 
seekers" werepressed into one or the other of two impromptu 
organizations, the Clay Battalion of Cassius M. Clay, and 
the Frontier Guards of Senator Lane of Kansas. For a short 
time the Frontier Guards were quartered in the East Room 
of the White House, and Clay's Battalion at Willard's 
Hotel, which had been stripped of its guests in a night. 

The confusion and alarm of the city was greatly increased 
on Friday by news received from Baltimore. The Sixth 
Massachusetts, en route to the Capital, had reached there, 
that day, and had been attacked as it marched through by a 
mob of Southern sympathizers. Four of its members had 
been killed and many wounded. " No troops should go 
through Maryland," the people of Baltimore declared, 
" whose purpose was to invade Virginia and coerce sister 
States." That evening about five o'clock the regiment 
reached Washington. Dusty, torn, and bleeding, they 
marched two by two through a great crowd of silent people 
to the Capitol. Behind them there came, in single line, seven- 
teen stretchers, bearing the wounded. The dead had been 
left behind. 

Early the next day, Saturday, the 20th, a delegation of 
Baltimore men appeared at the White House. They had 
come to beg Mr. Lincoln to bring no more troops through 
their city. After a long discussion, he sent them away with 
a note to the Maryland authorities, suggesting that the troops 
be marched around Baltimore. But as he gave them the 
letter, Mr. Nicolay heard him say laughingly : " If I grant 
you this concession, that no troops shall pass through the 


city, you will be back here to-morrow, demanding that none 
shall be marched around it." 

The President was right. That afternoon, and again on 
Sunday and Monday, committees sought him, protesting that 
Maryland soil should not be " polluted " by the feet of sol- 
diers marching against the South. The President had but 
one reply: " We must have troops; and as they can neither 
crawl under Maryland nor fly over it, they must come across 

While the controversy with the Baltimoreans was going 
on, the condition of Washington had become hourly more 
alarming. In 1861 there was but one railroad running north 
from Washington. At Annapolis Junction this line con- 
nected with a branch to Chesapeake Bay ; at the Relay House, 
with the Baltimore and Ohio to the west ; at Baltimore, with 
the only two lines then entering that city from the North, 
one from Harrisburg, the other from Philadelphia. On Fri- 
day, April 19, after the attack on the Sixth Massachusetts, 
the Maryland authorities ordered that certain of the bridges 
on the railroads running from Baltimore to Harrisburg and 
Philadelphia be destroyed. This was done to prevent any 
more trains bearing troops entering the city. The telegraph 
lines were also partially destroyed at this time. Inspired by 
this example, the excited Marylanders, in the course of the 
next two or three days, tore up much of the track running 
north from Washington, as well as that of the Annapolis 
branch, and still further damaged the telegraph. Exit from 
Washington to the north, east, and west by rail was now 
impossible. On Sunday night matters were made still worse 
by the complete interruption of the telegraph to the north. 
The last wire had been cut. All the news which reached 
Washington now came by way of the south, and it was all 
of the most disturbing nature. From twelve to fifteen thou- 
sand Confederates were reported near Alexandria, and an 


army under Jefferson Davis was said to be ready to march 
from Richmond. The alarmed citizens, expecting hourly to 
be attacked, were constantly reporting that they heard can- 
non booming from this or that direction, or had seen scouts 
prowling around the outskirts of the town. 

The activity of the War Department under these condi- 
tions was extraordinary. General Scott had only four or 
five thousand men under arms, but he proposed, if the town 
was attacked, to contest possession point by point, and he 
had every public building, including school-houses, barri- 
caded. At the Capitol, barricades of cement barrels, sand- 
bags, and iron plates such as were being used in the con- 
struction of the dome were erected ten feet high, at every en- 
trance. In all his efforts the General was assisted by the 
loyal citizens. Even the men exempted from service by age 
formed a company called the " Silver Grays/' and the sol- 
diers of the War of 1812 offered themselves. 

By Tuesday, April 23, a new terror was added to the 
situation — that of famine. The country around had been 
scoured for provisions, and supplies were getting short. If 
Washington was to be besieged, as it looked, what was to be 
done about food? The government at once ordered that 
the flour at the Georgetown mills, some 25,000 barrels, be 
seized, and sold according to the discretion of the military 

In its distress, it was to Mr. Lincoln that the city turned. 
The fiber of the man began to show at once. Bayard Taylor 
happened to be \n Washington at the very beginning of the 
alarm, and called on the President. " His demeanor was 
thoroughly calm and collected," Taylor wrote to the New 
York " Tribune," " and he spoke of the present crisis 
with that solemn, earnest composure which is the sign of a 
soul not easily perturbed. I came away from his presence 
cheered and encouraged." However, the suspense of the 


days when the Capital was isolated, the expected troops not 
arriving, an hourly attack feared, wore on Mr. Lincoln 
greatly. " I begin to believe," Mr. Hay heard him say bit- 
terly, one day, to some Massachusetts soldiers, " that there is 
no North. The Seventh Regiment is a myth. Rhode Island 
is another. You are the only real thing." And again, after 
pacing the floor of his deserted office for a half hour, he was 
heard to exclaim to himself, in an anguished tone, " Why 
don't they come ! Why don't they come ! " 

The delay of the troops to arrive was, perhaps, the most 
mysterious and terrifying element in the situation for Mr. 
Lincoln. He knew that several regiments had started, and 
that the Seventh New York was at Annapolis, having come 
down Chesapeake Bay. Why they did not make a way 
through he could not understand. The most disquieting 
rumors reached him — now that an army had been raised in 
Maryland to oppose their advance; now that they had at- 
tempted to come up the Potomac, and were aground on Vir- 
ginia soil. At last, however, the long suspense was broken. 
About noon, on Thursday, the 25th, the whole city was 
thrown into excitement by the shrill whistle of a locomotive. 
A great crowd gathered at the station, where the Seventh 
New York was debarking. The regiment had worked its 
way from Annapolis to the city, building bridges and laying 
track as it went. Worn and dirty as the men were, they 
marched gaily up Pennsylvania avenue, through the crowds 
of cheering, weeping people, to the White House, where 
Mr. Lincoln received them. The next day, 1,200 Rhode 
Island troops and the Butler Brigade of 1,400 arrived. Be- 
fore the end of the week, there were said to be 17,000 troops 
in the city, and it was believed that the number could easily 
be increased to 40,000. Mr. Lincoln had won his first point. 
He had soldiers to defend his Capital. 

But it was evident by this time that something more was 


From photograph in the collection of H. W. Fay of De Kalh, Illinois, taken prob- 
ably in Springfield early in 1861. It is supposed to have been the first, or at least 
one' of the first, portraits made of Mr. Lincoln after he began to wear a beard. As 
is well known, his face was smooth until about the end of 1S60; when he first al« 
lowed his beard to grow, it became a topic of newspaper comment, and even of 


necessary than to defend Washington. When, on April 15, 
Mr. Lincoln called for 75,000 men for three months, he had 
commanded the persons disturbing the public peace " to dis- 
perse and retire peacefully to their respective abodes within 
twenty days from date." 

In reply the South had marched on his Capital, cutting it 
off from all communication with the North for nearly a week, 
and had so threatened Harper's Ferry and Norfolk that to 
prevent the arsenal and shipyards from falling into the hands 
of the enemy, the Federal commanders had destroyed both 
these fine government properties. 

Before ten of the twenty days had passed, it was plain that 
the order was worthless. 

" I have desired as sincerely as any man, and I sometimes 
think more than any other man," said the President on April 
27 to a visiting military company, " that our present diffi- 
culties might be settled without the shedding of blood. I 
will not say that all hope has yet gone ; but if the alternative 
is presented whether the Union is to be broken in fragments 
and the liberties of the people lost, or blood be shed, you will 
probably make the choice with which I shall not be dissatis- 

If not as yet quite convinced that war was coming, Mr. 
Lincoln saw that it was so probable that he must have an 
army of something beside " three months' men," for the very 
next day after this speech, the Secretary of War, Mr. Cam- 
eron, wrote to a correspondent that the President had de- 
cided to add twenty-five regiments to the regular army. 

There was great need that the regular army be re-enforced. 
At the beginning of the year it had numbered 16,367 men, 
but a large part of this force was in the West, and the effi- 
ciency of the whole was greatly weakened by the desertion 
of officers to the South, 313 of the commissioned officers, 
nearly one-third of the whole number, having resigned. To 


Mr. Lincoln's great satisfaction, this disaffection did not ex- 
tend to the " common soldiers and common sailors." " To 
the last man, so far as is known," he said proudly, " they 
have successfully resisted the traitorous efforts of those 
whose commands, but an hour before, they obeyed as ab- 
solute law." It was on May 3 that the President issued 
a proclamation increasing the regulars by 22,714, and call- 
ing for three years' volunteers to the number of 42,034. But 
the country was not satisfied to send so few. When the War 
Department refused troops from States beyond the quota 
assigned, Governors literally begged that they be allowed to 
send more. 

" You have no conception of the depth of feeling universal 
in the Northern mind for the prosecution of this war until 
the flag floats from every spot on which it had a right to float 
a year ago," wrote Galusha A. Grow, on May 5. . . . 
In my judgment, the enthusiasm of the hour ought not 
to be represented by flat refusals on the part of the govern- 
ment, but let them (troops offered above the quota) be held 
in readiness (in some way) in the States." 

A meeting of the Governors of the Western and Border 
States was held in Cleveland, Ohio, about the time of the 
second call, and Mr. Randall, the Governor of Wisconsin, 
wrote to Lincoln on May 6 : 

" I must be permitted to say it, because it is a fact, there 
is a spirit evoked by this rebellion among the liberty-loving 
people of the country that is driving them to action, and if 
the government will not permit them to act for it, they will 
act for themselves. It is better for the government to direct 
this spirit than to let it run wild. ... If it was abso- 
lutely certain that the 75,000 troops first called would wipe 
out this rebellion in three weeks from to-day, it would still 
be the policy of your Administration, and for the best in- 
terest of the government, in view of what ought to be the 


great future of this nation, to call into the field at once 
300,000 men." 

At the same time from Maine W. P. Fessenden wrote: 
" Rely upon it, you cannot at Washington fairly estimate 
the resolute determination existing among all classes of peo- 
ple in the free States to put down at once and forever this 
monstrous rebellion." 

Under this pressure, regiment after regiment was added 
to the three years' volunteers. It was Mr. Lincoln's personal 
interference which brought in many of these regiments. 
" Why cannot Colonel Small's Philadelphia regiment be re- 
ceived?" he wrote to the Secretary of War on May 21, 
" I sincerely wish it could. There is something strange about 
it. Give those gentlemen an interview, and take their regi- 
ment." Again on June 13 he wrote: " There is, it seems, 
a regiment in Massachusetts commanded by Fletcher Web- 
ster, and which the Hon. Daniel Webster's old friends very 
much wish to get into the service. If it can be received with 
the approval of your department and the consent of the 
Governor of Massachusetts, I shall indeed be much gratified. 
Give Mr. Ashmun a chance to explain fully." And again on 
June 17: " With your concurrence, and that of the Gov- 
ernor of Indiana, I am in favor of accepting into what we 
call the three years' service any number not exceeding four 
additional regiments from that State. Probably they should 
come from the triangular region between the Ohio and Wa- 
bash rivers, including my own old boyhood home."* 

So rapid was the increase of the army under this policy, 
that on July 1, the Secretary of War reported 310,000 men 
at his command, and added : " At the present moment the 
government presents the striking anomaly of being em- 

* These extracts are from letters to Mr. Cameron found in a volume 
of the War Records as yet unpublished. Others of the same tenor are 
in the volume. 


barrassed by the generous outpouring of volunteers to sup- 
port its action." 

But Mr. Lincoln soon found that enrolling men does not 
make an army. He must uniform, arm, shelter, feed, nurse, 
and transport them as needed. It was in providing for the 
needs of the men that came so willingly into service that the 
Administration found its chief embarrassment. The most 
serious difficulty was in getting arms. Men could go ununi- 
formed, and sleep in the open air, but to fight they must have 
guns. The supplies of the United States arsenals in the 
North had been greatly depleted in the winter of i860 and 
1 86 1 by transfers to the South, between one-fifth and one- 
sixth of all the muskets in the country and between one- 
fourth and one-fifth of all the rifles having been sent to the 
six seceding States. The Confederates had not only ob- 
tained a large share of government arms, but through 
January, February, March, April, and May they bought 
from private factories in the North, " under the very noses of 
the United States officers/ ' This became such a scandal that 
the Administration had to send out an agent to investigate 
the trade. At the same time the Federal ministers abroad 
were warning Mr. Lincoln that the South was picking up 
all the arms Europe had to spare, and the North was buying 
nothing. The need of arms opened the way for inventors, 
and Washington was overrun with men having guns to be 
tested. Mr. Lincoln took the liveliest interest in these new 
arms, and it sometimes happened that, when an inventor 
could get nobody else in the government to listen to him, the 
President would personally test his gun. A former clerk in 
the Navy Department tells an incident illustrative. He had 
stayed late one night at his desk, when he heard some one 
striding up and down the hall muttering : " I do wonder if 
they have gone already and left the building all alone." 
Looking out, the clerk was surprised to see the President 


" Good evening," said Mr. Lincoln. " I was just looking 

for that man who goes shooting with me sometimes." 

The clerk knew that Mr. Lincoln referred to a certain mes- 
senger of the Ordnance Department who had been accus- 
tomed to going with him to test weapons, but as this man 
had gone home, the clerk offered his services. Together they 
went to the lawn south of the White House, where Mr. Lin- 
coln fixed up a target cut from a sheet of white Congressional 
note-paper. " Then pacing off a distance of about eighty 
or a hundred feet/' writes the clerk, " he raised the rifle to a 
level, took a quick aim, and drove the round of seven shots 
in quick succession, the bullets shooting all around the target 
like a Gatling gun and one striking near the centre. 

" ' I believe I can make this gun shoot better/ said Mr. 
Lincoln, after we had looked at the result of the first fire. 
With this he took from his vest pocket a small wooden sight 
which he had whittled from a pine stick, and adjusted it 
over the sight of the carbine. He then shot two rounds, and 
of the fourteen bullets nearly a dozen hit the paper ! " 

It was in these early days of preparing for war that Mr. 
Lincoln interested himself, too, in experiments with the bal- 
loon. He was one of the first persons in this country to 
receive a telegraphic message from a balloon sent up to make 
observations on an enemy's works. This experiment was 
made in June, and so pleased the President that the balloonist 
was allowed to continue his observations from the Virginia 
side. These observations were successful, and on June 21, 
Joseph Henry, the distinguished secretary of the Smith- 
sonian Institution, declared in a report to the Administration 
that, " from experiments made here for the first time, it is 
conclusively proved that telegrams can be sent with ease and 
certainty between the balloon and the quarters of the com- 
manding officer. ,, 

The extraordinary conditions under which Mr. Lincoln 


entered tne White House prevented him tor some weeks 
from adopting anything like systematic habits. By the time 
of his second call for troops, however, he had adjusted him- 
self to his new home as well as he ever was able to do. The 
arrangement of the White House was not materially different 
then from what it is now. The entrance, halls, the East 
Room, the Green Room, the Blue Room, the State Dining- 
room, all were the same, the only difference being in furnish- 
ings and decorations. The Lincoln family used the west end 
of the second floor as a private apartment ; the east end being 
devoted to business. Mr. Lincoln's office was the large room 
on the south side of the house, between the office of Private 
Secretary Nicolay, at the southeast corner, and the room now 
used as a Cabinet-room. 

" The furniture of this room," says Mr. Isaac Arnold, a 
friend and frequent visitor of the President, " consisted of 
a large oak table covered with cloth, extending north and 
south, and it was around this table that the Cabinet sat when 
it held its meetings. Near the end of the table and between 
the windows was another table, on the west side of which 
the President sat, in a large arm-chair, and at this table he 
wrote. A tall desk, with pigeon-holes for papers, stood 
against the south wall. The only books usually found in 
this room were the Bible, the United States Statutes and a 
copy of Shakespeare. There were a few chairs and two 
plain hair-covered sofas. There were two or three map 
frames, from which hung military maps, on which the posi- 
tions and movements of the armies were traced. There was 
an old and discolored engraving of General Jackson on the 
mantel and a later photograph of John Bright. Doors opened 
into this room from the room of the Secretary and from the 
outside hall, running east and west across the house. A bell 
cord within reach of his hand extended to the Secretary's 
office. A messenger sat at the door opening from the hall, 
and took in the cards and names of visitors." 

One serious annoyance in the arrangement of the business 


part of the White House at that date arose from the fact 
that to reach his office Mr. Lincoln was obliged, in coming 
from his private apartment, to pass through the hall. As 
this hall was always rilled with persons anxious to see him, 
it was especially difficult for a man of his informal habits 
and genial nature to get through. Late in 1864 this difficulty 
was remedied. At the suggestion of one of his body-guard, 
a door was cut from the family library into the present 
cabinet-room and a light partition was run across the 
south end, thus enabling him to pass into his office without 

Most of his time, while President, Mr. Lincoln undoubt- 
edly spent in his office. He was a very early riser, being 
often at his desk at six o'clock in the morning, and some- 
times even going out on errands at this early hour. A friend 
tells of passing the White House early one morning in the 
spring of 1861 and seeing Mr. Lincoln standing at the gate, 
looking anxiously up and down the street. " Good morning, 
good morning," he said. " I am looking for a newsboy. 
When you get to the corner, I wish you would send one up 
this way." 

After the firing on Fort Sumter and the alarm for the 
safety of Washington, the office-seekers fell off sufficiently 
for the President to announce that he would see no visitors 
before nine o'clock in the morning or after two in the after- 
noon. He never kept the rule himself, but those about him 
did their best to keep it for him. He was most informal in 
receiving visitors. Sometimes he even went out into the hall 
himself to reply to cards. Ben: Perley Poore says he did 
this frequently for newspaper men. Indeed, it was so much 
more natural for Mr. Lincoln to do things for himself than 
to call on others, to go to others than have them come to him, 
that he was constantly appearing in unexpected places. The 
place to which he went oftenest was the War Department. 


In 1 86 1, separate buildings occupied the space now covered 
by the State, Army, and Navy Building. The War Depart- 
ment stood on the site of the northeast corner of the present 
structure, facing on Pennsylvania avenue. The Navy Build- 
ing was south and in line, and no street separated the White 
House from these buildings, as now, but the lawn was con- 
tinuous, and a gravel walk ran from one to another. Mr. 
Lincoln had no telegraph apparatus in the White House, so 
that all war news was brought to him from the War Depart- 
ment, unless he went after it. He much preferred to go 
after it, and he began soon after the fall of Fort Sumter to 
run over to the Department whenever anything important 
occurred. Mr. William B. Wilson, of Philadelphia, was in 
the military telegraph office of the War Department from the 
first of May, 1861, and in some unpublished recollections 
of Mr. Lincoln he recalls an incident illustrating admirably 
the President's informal relation to the telegraph office. Mr. 
Wilson had been sent to the White House hurriedly to re- 
peat an important message from an excited Governor. 

" Mr. Lincoln considered it of sufficient importance," 
writes Mr. Wilson, " to return with me to the War Depart- 
ment for the purpose of having a ' wire-talk ' with the per- 
turbed Governor. Calling one of his two younger boys to 
join him, we then started from the White House, between 
stately trees, along a gravel path which led to the rear of the 
old War Department building. It was a warm day, and Mr. 
Lincoln wore as part of his costume a faded gray linen duster 
which hung loosely around his long gaunt frame ; his kindly 
eye was beaming with good nature, and his ever-thoughtful 
brow was unruffled. We had barely reached the gravel walk 
before he stooped over, picked up a round smooth pebble, 
and shooting it off his thumb, challenged us to a game of 
1 followings,' which we accepted. Each in turn tried to hit 
the outlying stone, which was being constantly projected on- 
ward by the President. The game was short, but exciting ; 
the cheerfulness of childhood, the ambition of young man- 


hood, and the gravity of the statesman were all injected into 
it. The game was not won until the steps of the War De- 
partment were reached. Every inch of progression was 
toughly contested, and when the President was declared 
victor, it was only by a hand span. He appeared to be as 
much pleased as if he had won a battle, and softened the 
defeat of the vanquished by attributing his success to his 
greater height of person and longer reach of arm." 

One noticeable feature of Mr. Lincoln's life, at this time, 
was his relation to the common soldier. Officers he re- 
spected, even deferred to, but from the first arrival of troops 
in Washington it was the man on foot, with a gun on his 
shoulder, that had Mr. Lincoln's heart. Even at this early 
period the men found it out, and went to him confidently for 
favors refused elsewhere. Thus the franking of letters by 
Congressmen was one of the perquisites of the boys, and 
there are cases of their going to the President with letters 
to be franked when they failed to find, or were refused by, 
their Congressman. But they also soon learned that trivial 
pleas or complaints were met by rebukes as caustic as the 
help they received was genuine when they had a just cause. 
General Sherman relates the following incident that befell 
one day when he was riding through camp with Mr. Lin- 

" I saw," says the general, " an officer with whom I had 
had a little difficulty that morning. His face was pale and 
his lips compressed. I foresaw a scene, but sat on the front 
seat of the carriage as quiet as a lamb. The officer forced 
his way through the crowd to the carriage, and said : ' Mr. 
President, I have a cause of grievance. This morning I went 
to speak to Colonel Sherman, and he threatened to shoot me/ 
Mr. Lincoln said : ' Threatened to shoot you ? ' ' Yes, sir, 
threatened to shoot me.' Mr. Lincoln looked at him, then at 
me, and stooping his tall form towards the officer, said to 
him, in a loud stage whisper, easily heard for some yards 


around, ' Well, if I were you, and he threatened to shoot me, 
I would not trust him, for I believe he would do it/ " 

It is curious to note in the records of the time how soon, 
not only the soldiers, but the general public of Washington 
discovered the big heart of the new President. A cor- 
respondent of the Philadelphia " Press," in a letter of May 
23, tells how he saw Mr. Lincoln one day sitting in his 
" new barouche " in front of the Treasury, awaiting Mr. 
Chase, when there came along a boy on crutches. Lincoln 
immediately called the boy to him, asked him several ques- 
tions, and then slipped a gold piece into his hands. " Such 
acts of liberality and disinterested charity," said the cor- 
respondent, " are frequently practiced by our Executive, 
who can never look upon distress without attempting to re- 
lieve it." 

As soon as the first rush of soldiers to Washington was 
over and the Capital was comparatively safe, Mr. Lincoln 
began to take a drive every afternoon. It was among the 
soldiers that he went almost invariably. Indeed, it was im- 
possible to escape the camps, so fully was the city turned 
over to the military. The Capitol, Inauguration Ball-room, 
Patent Office, and other public buildings were used as tem- 
porary quarters for incoming troops. The Corcoran Art 
Gallery had been turned into a store-house for army supplies. 
A bakery was established in the basement of the Capitol. 
The Twelfth New York was in Franklin Park. At the 
Georgetown College was another regiment. On Meridian 
Hill the Seventh New York was stationed. Everywhere 
were soldiers. Mr. Lincoln and his Cabinet officers drove 
daily to one or another of these camps. Very often his out- 
ing for the day was attending some ceremony incident to 
camp life: a military funeral, a camp wedding, a review, a 
flag-raising. He did not often make speeches. " I have 
made a great many poor speeches," he said one day, in ex- 


cusing himself, " and I now feel relieved that my dignity 
does not permit me to be a public speaker." 

All through these early days of calling the army to Wash- 
ington there was little to make one feel how terrible a thing 
it is to collect and prepare men for battle. So far it was the 
splendid outburst of patriotism, the dash of adventure, the 
holiday gaiety of it all, which had impressed the country. 
There were critics now who said, as they had said before the 
inauguration and again before the firing on Fort Sumter, 
that the President did not understand what was going on 
before his eyes. General Sherman himself confesses his 
irritation at what seemed to him an unbecoming placidity on 
the part of Mr. Lincoln. The General had just come from 
Louisiana. " How are they getting on down there ? " asked 
the President. 

" They are getting on swimmingly," Sherman replied. 
" They are preparing for war." 

" Oh, well," Lincoln said, " I guess we'll manage to keep 

More penetrating observers saw something else in the 
President, an inner man, wrestling incessantly with an awful 
problem. N. P. Willis, who saw him at one of the many 
flag-raisings of that spring, records an impression common 
enough among thoughtful observers: 

" There was a momentary interval," writes Willis, " while 
the band played the ' Star-Spangled Banner,' and during this 
' brief waiting for the word,' all eyes, of course, were on the 
President's face, in which (at least for those near enough 
to see it well) there was the same curious problem of expres- 
sion which has been more than once noticed by the close 
observer of that singular countenance — the two-fold working 
of the twofold nature of the man. Lincoln the Westerner, 
slightly humorous but thoroughly practical and sagacious, 
was measuring the ' chore ' that was to be done, and wonder- 
ing whether that string was going to draw that heap of stuff 


through the hole in the top of the partition, determining that 
it should, but seeing clearly that it was mechanically 
a badly arranged job, and expecting the difficulty that did 
actually occur. Lincoln the President and statesman was 
another nature, seen in those abstract and serious eyes, which 
seemed withdrawn to an inner sanctuary of thought, sitting 
in judgment on the scene and feeling its far reach into the 
future. A whole man, and an exceedingly handy and joyous 
one, was to hoist the flag, but an anxious and reverent and 
deep-thinking statesman and patriot was to stand apart while 
it went up and pray God for its long waving and sacred wel- 
fare. Completely, and yet separately, the one strange face 
told both stories, and told them well. ,, 

By the middle of May, 1861, the problem of Mr. Lincoln's 
life was how to use the army he had called together. The 
capital was now well guarded. Troops were at Norfolk, 
Baltimore, and Harper's Ferry, the points at which the Con- 
federates had made their earliest demonstrations. The un- 
certainty as to whether Kentucky would leave the Union had 
imperiled the line of the Ohio and compelled military demon- 
strations at Cincinnati and Cairo, and in Missouri the strug- 
gle between the Northern and Southern sympathizers had 
become so violent that a Military Department had been cre- 
ated there. Thus the President had a zig-zag line of troops 
running from Missouri eastward to Norfolk. The bulk of all 
the troops however, were in and around Washington. The 
North had been urging the President, from the day it an- 
swered his first call, to advance the volunteers into Virginia. 
" Don't establish batteries on Georgetown Heights," wrote 
Zachariah Chandler from Michigan on April 17. " March 
your troops into Virginia. Quarter them there/' Finally, 
about the middle of May, the President decided that a move- 
ment across the river should be made, the object being to 
seize the heights from Arlington south to Alexandria. Mr 
Lincoln had the success of this movement deeply at heart 


The Confederate flag flying from a staff at Alexandria had 
been a constant eyesore to him. Again and again he was seen 
standing with a gloomy face before one of the south win- 
dows of the White House looking through a glass at this 

The time for the advance was set for the night of May 
23. By morning, Arlington, the shores of the Potomac 
southward, and the town of Alexandria were occupied by 
Federal troops. The enemy had fled at their approach. The 
flag which had caused Mr. Lincoln so much pain was gone, 
but its removal had cost a life very precious to the President. 
Young Colonel Ellsworth, one of the most brilliant officers 
in the volunteer service, a man whom the President had 
brought to Washington and for whom he felt the warmest 
affection, had been shot. 

The Arlington heights seized, the army lay for weeks in- 
active. The one movement for which the North now clam- 
ored was a march from Arlington to Richmond. The delay 
to move made the country irritable and sarcastic. Perhaps 
thecompletest expression of the discontent of the North with 
the military policy of the Administration is found in the New 
York " Tribune." For days, beginning early in June, that 
paper kept standing at the head of its editorial columns what 
it called " The Nation's War Cry." " Forward to Rich- 
mond. Forward to Richmond. The Rebel Congress must 
not be allowed to meet there on the 20th of July. By that 
date the place must be held by the National Army." 

Mr. Lincoln was as anxious for a successful movement 
southward as any man in the country ; but for some time he 
resisted the popular outcry, giving his generals the oppor- 
tunity to make ready for which they begged. At last, to- 
wards the end of June, he decided that an advance must be 
made, and he summoned his Cabinet and the leading mili- 
tary men near Washington to meet him on the evening of 


June 29 and discuss the advisability of and the plans for 
an immediate attack on the enemy's army, then entrenched 
at Manassas Junction, some twenty miles southwest of 
Washington. The Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Gen- 
eral Scott, opposed the advance. He had another plan of 
campaign; the army was not ready. But Mr. Lincoln in- 
sisted that the country demanded a movement, and that if 
the Federal army was " green," so was that of the Con- 
federates. General Scott waived his objections, and the ad- 
vance was ordered for July 9. 

Before the battle came off, however, the President wished 
to impress again on the North what it was fighting for. On 
July 4, when he sent his message to Congress, which he had 
summoned in extra session, he put before them clearly his 
theory of and justification for the war. 

" This is essentially a people's contest. On the side of the 
Union it is a struggle for maintaining in the world that 
form and substance of government whose leading object is to 
elevate the condition of men — to lift artificial weights from 
all shoulders ; to clear the paths of laudable pursuits for all ; 
to afford all an unfettered start, and a fair chance in the race 
of life. Yielding to partial and temporary departures, from 
necessity, this is the leading object of the government for 
whose existence we contend. . . . 

" Our popular government has often been called an ex- 
periment. Two points in it our people have already settled — 
the successful establishing and the successful administering 
of it. One still remains — its successful maintenance against 
a formidable internal attempt to overthrow it. It is now for 
them to demonstrate to the world that those who can fairly 
carry an election can also suppress a rebellion ; that ballots 
are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets ; and that 
when ballots have fairly and constitutionally decided, there 
can be no successful appeal back to bullets ; that there can be 
no successful appeal except to ballots themselves at succeed- 
ing elections. Such will be a great lesson of peace ; teaching 


men that what they cannot take by election, neither can 
they take it by a war ; teaching all the folly of being the be- 
ginners of a war. . . . 

"' As a private citizen the executive could not have con- 
sented that the institutions of this country shall perish ; much 
less could he, in betrayal of so vast and so sacred a trust as 
the free people have confided to him. He felt that he had no 
moral right to shrink, nor even to count the chances of his 
own life in what might follow. In full view of his great 
responsibility he has, so far, done what he has deemed his 
duty. You will now, according to your own judgment, per- 
form yours. He sincerely hopes that your views and your 
actions may so accord with his, as to assure all faithful citi- 
zens who have been disturbed in their rights of a certain and 
speedy restoration to them, under the Constitution and the 

" And having thus chosen our course, without guile and 
with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go for- 
ward without fear and with manly hearts." 

With these words Mr. Lincoln started the first War Con- 
gress on its duties and the Army of Northeastern Virginia 
towards Bull Run. 

The advance of the Federals from Arlington towards Ma- 
nassas Junction had been ordered for July 9. For one and 
another reason, however, it was July 21 before the army 
was ready to attack. The day was Sunday, a brilliant, hot 
Washington day. Anxious as Mr. Lincoln was over the 
coming battle, he went to church as usual. It was while he 
was there that a distant roar of cannon, the first sounds of 
the battle, only twenty miles away, reached him. Returning 
to the White House after the services, the President's first in- 
quiry was for news. Telegrams had just begun to come in. 
They continued at intervals all the afternoon — broken re- 
ports from now this, now that, part of the field. Although 
fragmentary, they were as a whole encouraging. The Presi- 
dent studied them carefully, and after a time went over to 


General Scott's headquarters to talk the news over with him. 
By half-past five he felt so sure that the field was won that 
he went out for his usual afternoon drive. What happened 
at the White House then the only eye witnesses, his secre- 
taries, have told in their History : 

" He had not returned when, at six o'clock, Secretary Sew- 
ard came to the Executive Mansion, pale and haggard. 
1 Where is the President ? ' he asked hoarsely of the private 
secretaries. ' Gone to drive,' they answered. ' Have you 
any late news ? ' he continued. They read him the telegrams 
which announced victory. ' Tell no one,' said he. ' That 
is not true. The battle is lost. The telegraph says that Mc- 
Dowell is in full retreat and calls on General Scott to save 
the capital. Find the President and tell him to come imme- 
diately to General Scott's.' 

" Half an hour later the President returned from his drive, 
and his private secretaries gave him Seward's message, the 
first intimation he received of the trying news. He listened 
in silence, without the slightest change of feature or expres- 
sion, and walked away to army headquarters. There he read 
the unwelcome report in a telegram from a captain of engi- 
neers : ' General McDowell's army in full retreat through 
Centreville. The day is lost. Save Washington and the 
remnants of this army. . . The routed troops will not 
reform.' " 

From that time on, for at least twenty-four hours, a con- 
tinuous stream of tales of disaster was poured upon Mr. Lin- 
coln. A number of public men had gone from Washington 
to see the battle. Ex-Senator Dawes, who was among them, 
says that General Scott urged him to go, telling him that it 
was undoubtedly the only battle he would ever have a chance 
to see. About midnight they began to return. They came 
in haggard, worn, and horror-stricken, and a number of 
them repaired to the White House, where Mr. Lincoln, lying 
on his office sofa, listened to their tales of the panic that had 
seized the army about four in the afternoon and of the re- 


treat that had followed. All of those who returned that 
night to Washington were positive that the Confederates 
would attack the city before morning. 

The events of the next day were no less harrowing to Mr. 
Lincoln than those of the night. A drizzling rain was fall- 
ing, and from daybreak there could be seen, crowding and 
staggering across the Long Bridge, hundreds of soldiers, civ- 
ilians, negroes, and horses. Hour by hour the streets of the 
city grew fuller. On the corners white-faced women stood 
beside boilers of coffee, feeding the exhausted men. Now 
and then the remnants of a regiment or company which 
somehow had kept together marched up the street, mud- 
splashed and dejected. One of the most pathetic sights of the 
day was the return of Burnside and his men. The regiment 
and its handsome general had been one of the town's de- 
lights. Now they came back broken in numbers and so over- 
come with fatigue that man after man dropped in the streets 
as he marched, while slowly in front, his head on his breast, 
the reins on the neck of his exhausted horse, rode Burnside. 

Before Monday night, it was known that the enemy was 
not following up his advantage. Two days later the Union 
army was reintrenched on Arlington heights. A revulsion 
of feeling had already begun. The effort to make out the 
rout to be as complete and terrible as it could be, was fol- 
lowed by an attempt to show that it was nothing but a panic 
among teamsters and sight-seers. Mr. Lincoln was asked to 
listen to a number of these explanations. " Ah, I see," he 
said to one vindicator of the day, " we whipped the enemy, 
and then ran away from him." 

Explanations of the Battle of Bull Run did not interest the 
President. He was giving his whole mind to repairing the 
disaster. Two days later, July 23, he wrote out the follow- 
ing " Memoranda of Military Policy suggested by the Bui! 
Run Defeat." Nicolay and Hay. to whose history we owe 


this document, say that the President made the first notes 
of this " policy " while men were bringing him news of the 

i. Let the plan for making the blockade effective be 
pushed forward with all possible dispatch. 

2. Let the volunteer forces at Fort Monroe and vicinity 
under General Butler be constantly drilled, disciplined, and 
instructed without more for the present. 

3. Let Baltimore be held as now, with a gentle but firm 
and certain hand. 

4. Let the force now under Patterson or Banks be 
strengthened and made secure in its position. 

5. Let the forces in Western Virginia act till further or- 
ders according to instructions or orders from General Mc- 

6. Let General Fremont push forward his organization 
and operations in the West as rapidly as possible, giving 
rather special attention to Missouri. 

7. Let the forces late before Manassas, except the three 
months' men, be reorganized as rapidly as possible in their 
camps here and about Arlington. 

8. Let the three months' forces who decline to enter the 
longer service be discharged as rapidly as circumstances will 

9. Let the new volunteer forces be brought forward as 
fast as possible; and especially into the camps on the two 
sides of the river here. 

July 27, 1 86 1. 

When the foregoing shall be substantially attended to : 

1. Let Manassas Junction (or some point on one or other 
of the railroads near it) and Strasburg be seized, ard per- 
manently held, with an open line from Washington to Ma- 
nassas, and an open line from Harper's Ferry to Strasburg — - 
the military men to find the way of doing these. 

2. This done, a joint movement from Cairo on Memphis ; 
and from Cincinnati on East Tennessee. 

It was to points 7, 8 and 9 of the above memorandum that 
the President gave his first attention. 


Congress, prostrated as it was by the unexpected defeat, 
stood by Lincoln bravely, voting him men and money. Re- 
sources he was not going to lack. The confidence of the 
country was what he needed. To stimulate this confidence, 
Mr. Lincoln and his advisers summoned to Washington, on 
July 22, George B. McClellan, the only man who had thus 
far accomplished anything in the war on which the North 
looked with pride, and asked him to take the command of 
the demoralized army. A more effective move could not 
have been made. 

McClellan was a West Point graduate who had seen serv- 
ice in the Mexican War, but who, in the spring of 1861 held 
a position as a railroad president. His home was in Cincin- 
nati. After the fall of Sumter the fear of invasion spread 
rapidly westward from Washington. On April 21 the 
Governor of Ohio wired the Secretary of War that he desired 
a suitable United States officer to be detailed at once to take 
command of the volunteers of Cincinnati and to provide for 
the defense of that city, and the next day several leading men 
wired that the " People of Cincinnati " wished Captain 
McClellan to be appointed to the position. 

A month later, when West Virginia had decided to stay 
with the Union and Eastern Virginia had decided to coerce 
her to remain with the South, McClellan, who had been put 
in charge of the Ohio troops as his friends requested, was 
ordered to protect the Unionists of the section against the 
Southern army. Early in July he undertook an offensive 
campaign against the enemy, completely driving him from 
the country in less than three weeks. McClellan announced 
his victories in a series of addresses which thrilled the North. 
They saw in him a great general, a second Napoleon and 
were satisfied when he was put in charge of the army that the 
disgrace of Bull Run would be speedily wiped out. 

While occupied in reorganizing and increasing the army, 


Mr. Lincoln did his best to improve the morale of officers 
and men. One of the first things he did, in fact, after the 
battle was to " run over and see the boys," as he expressed 
it. General Sherman, who was with Mr. Lincoln as he 
drove about the camps on this visit, says that he made one of 
the " neatest, best, and most feeling addresses " he ever lis- 
tened to, and that its effect on the troops was " excellent." 
As often as he could after this, Mr. Lincoln went to the Ar- 
lington camps. Frequently in these visits he left his car- 
riage and walked up and down the lines shaking hands with 
the men, repeating heartily as he did so, " God bless you, 
God bless you." Before a month had passed, he saw that 
under McClellan's training the Army of the Potomac, as it 
had come to be called, had recovered almost completely from 
the panic of Bull Run, and that it was growing every day in 
efficiency. But scarcely had his anxiety over the condition 
of things around Washington been allayed, before a grave 
problem was raised in the West. The severest criticisms be- 
gan to come to him on the conduct of a man whom he had 
made a major-general and whom he had put in command 
of the important Western division, John C. Fremont. The 
force of these criticisms was intensified by serious disasters 
to the Union troops in Missouri. 




The most popular military appointment Lincoln made be- 
fore McClellan was that of John C. Fremont to the command 
of the Department of the West. Republicans appreciated it, 
for had not Fremont been the first candidate of their party 
for the Presidency? The West was jubilant : Fremont's ex- 
plorations had years before made him the hero of the land 
along the Mississippi. The cabinet was satisfied, particularly 
Postmaster-General Blair, whose " pet and protege " Fre- 
mont was. Lincoln himself " thought well of Fremont/' 
believed he could do the work to be done; and he had al- 
ready had experience enough to discern that his great trou- 
ble was to be, not finding major-generals — he had more pegs 
than holes to put them in, he said one day — but finding ma- 
jor-generals who could do the thing they were ordered to do. 

Fremont had gone to his headquarters at St. Louis, Mis- 
souri, late in July. Before a month had passed, the gravest 
charges of incompetency and neglect of duty were being 
made against him. It was even intimated to the President 
that the General was using his position to work up a North- 
western Confederacy.* Mr. Lincoln had listened to all these 

* Dr. Emil Preetorius, editor of the " Westliche Post " of St. Louis, 
Mo., said of this charge, in an interview for this work : " I know that 
Fremont gave no countenance to any scheme which others may have 
conceived for the establishment of a Northwestern Confederacy. I had 
abundant proof, through the years that I knew him, that he was a patriot 
and a most unselfish man._ The defect in Fremont was that he was a 
dreamer. Impractical, visionary things went a long way with him. He 
was a poor judge of men and formed strange associations. He sur- 
rounded himself with foreigners, especially Hungarians, most of whom 



charges, but taken no action, when, on the morning of Aug- 
ust 30, he was amazed to read it in his newspaper that Fre- 
mont had issued a proclamation declaring, among other 
things, that the property, real and personal, of all the per- 
sons in the State of Missouri who should take up arms 
against the United States, or who should be directly proved 
to have taken an active part with its enemies in the field, 
would be confiscated to public use and their slaves, if they 
had any, declared freemen. 

Fremont's proclamation astonished the country as much 
as it did the President. In the North it elicited almost uni- 
versal satisfaction. This was striking at the root of the 
trouble — slavery. But in the Border States, particularly in 
Kentucky, the Union party was dismayed. The only possi- 
ble method of keeping those sections in the Union was not 
to interfere with slavery. Mr. Lincoln saw this as clearly 
as his Border State supporters. It was well known that this 
was his policy. He felt that Fremont had not only defied 
the policy of the administration, he had usurped power which 
belonged only to the legislative part of the government. He 
had a good excuse for reprimanding the general, even for 
removing him. Instead, he wrote him, on September 2, a 
most kindly letter : 

I think there is great danger that the closing paragraph 
[of the proclamation], in relation to the confiscation of 
property and the liberating slaves of traitorous owners, will 

were adventurers and some of whom were swindlers. I struggled hard 
to persuade him not to let these men have so much to do with his ad- 
ministration. Mrs. Fremont, unlike the General, was most practical. 
She was fond of success. She and the General were alike, however, in 
their notions of the loyalty due between friends. Once, when I pro- 
tested against the character of the men who surrounded Fremont, she 
replied : ' Do you know these very men went out with us on horseback 
when we took possession of the Mariposa? They risked their lives for 
us. Nqw wf can't go back on them.' It was the woman's feeling. She 
forgcrt thai brave men may sometimes be downright thieves and rob- 
bers " 


alarm our Southern Union friends and turn them against 
us ; perhaps ruin our rather fair prospect for Kentucky. Al- 
low me, therefore, to ask that you will, as of your own mo- 
tion, modify that paragraph so as to conform to the first and 
fourth sections of the act of Congress entitled, " An act to 
confiscate property used for insurrectionary purposes," ap- 
proved August 6, 1 86 1, and a copy of which act I herewith 
send you. 

This letter is written in a spirit of caution, and not of cen- 
sure. I send it by special messenger, in order that it may 
certainly and speedily reach you. 

But Lincoln did more than this. Without waiting for 
Fremont's reply to the above, he went over carefully all the 
criticisms on the General's administration, in order to see 
if he could help him. His conclusion was that Fremont was 
isolating himself too much from men who were interested 
in the same cause, and so did not know what was going on 
in the very matter he was dealing with. That Mr. Lincoln 
hit the very root of Fremont's difficulty is evident from the 
testimony of the men who were with the General in Mis- 
souri at the time. Colonel George E. Leighton of St. Louis, 
who became provost-marshal of the city in the fall of 1861, 

Fremont isolated himself, and, unlike Grant, Halleck, and 
others of like rank, was unapproachable. When Halleck 
came here to assume command and called on Fremont, he 
was accompanied simply by a member of his staff ; but when 
Fremont returned the call, he rode down with great pomp 
and ceremony, escorted by his staff and bodyguard of one 
hundred men. 

General B. G. Farrar recounts his experience in trying to 
get an important message to Fremont from General Lyon, 
who was at Springfield with an insufficient force: 

Word was returned to me that General Fremont was very 
busy, that he could not receive the dispatch then, and re- 


quested me to call in the afternoon. I called in the after- 
noon, and was again told that General Fremont was very 
busy. Three days passed before I succeeded in obtaining an 
audience with Fremont. As commander of the department 
Fremont assumed all the prerogatives of an absolute ruler. 
The approach to his headquarters was through a long line 
of guards. There were guards at the corners of the streets, 
guards at the gate, guards at the door, guards at the entrance 
to the adjutant-general's office, and a whole regiment of 
troops in the barracks adjacent to his headquarters. I saw 
his order making Colonel Harding of the home guard a 
brigadier-general. This was done without consultation 
with the President and without authority of law. The Czar 
of Russia could hardly be more absolute in his authority than 
Fremont assumed to be at St. Louis. . . . Fremont never 
asked Washington for authority to do a thing. While at 
St. Louis Fremont visited nobody, so far as I know. When 
he went forth from his headquarters at all he went under the 
escort of his bodyguard and a staff brilliantly uniformed. 
When he removed his headquarters to Jefferson City he went 
on a special train, with all the trappings and surroundings of 
a royal potentate. . . ." 

Having made up his mind what Fremont's fault was, Lin- 
coln asked General David Hunter to go to Missouri. " He 
[Fremont] needs to have at his side a man of large experi- 
ence," he wrote to Hunter. " Will you not, for me, take 
that place ? Your rank is one grade too high to be ordered 
to it, but will you not serve the country and oblige me by 
taking it voluntarily? " At the same time that Hunter was 
asked to go to Fremont's relief, Postmaster-General Blair 
went to St. Louis, with the President's approbation, to talk 
with the General " as a friend." 

In the meantime, Lincoln's letter of September 2 had 
reached Fremont. After a few days the General replied that 
he wished the President himself would make the general or- 
der modifying the clause of the proclamation which referred 
to the liberation of slaves. This letter he sent by his wife,] 


Jessie Benton Fremont, a woman of ambition and great en- 
ergy of character. " While Fremont was in command of 
the Department, Mrs. Fremont was the real chief of staff," 
says Col. Geo. F. Leighton. " She was a woman of strong 
personality, having inherited much of the brains and force 
of character which distinguished her father, Senator Ben- 
ton." " Mrs. Fremont was much like her father," says Judge 
Clover of St. Louis. " She was intellectual and possessed 
great force of will." She started East deeply indignant that 
Mr. Lincoln should ask her husband to modify his procla- 
mation. When she reached Washington, she learned that 
Mr. Blair had gone to St. Louis. Jumping to the conclusion 
that it was with an order to remove her husband she hastened 
to Mr. Lincoln. It was midnight, but the President gave 
her an audience. Without waiting for an explanation, she 
violently charged him with sending an enemy to Missouri, 
to look into Fremont's case and threatening that if Fremont 
desired to he could set up a government for himself. " I 
had to exercise all the rude tact I have to avoid quarrelling 
with her," said Mr. Lincoln afterwards. 

The day after this interview Lincoln sent the order modi- 
fying the clause as Fremont had requested. When this was 
made public, a perfect storm of denunciation broke over the 
President. The whole North felt outraged. There was talk 
of impeaching Lincoln and of replacing him with Fremont. 
Great newspapers criticised his action, warning him to learn 
whither he was tending. Influential men in all professions 
spoke bitterly of his action. " How many times," wrote 
James Russell Lowell to Miss Norton, " are we to save Ken- 
tucky and lose our self-respect?" The hardest of these 
criticisms for Lincoln to bear were those from his old friends 
in Illinois, nearly all of whom supported Fremont. 

The general supposition throughout the country at this 
time was that the President would remove Fremont. He, 



however, had no idea of dismissing the General on the 
ground of the proclamation, and he hoped, as he wrote to 
Senator Browning, that no real necessity existed for it on 
any ground. The hope was vain. Disasters to the Union 
army, the evident result of the General's inefficiency, and 
positive proofs of corruption in the management of the finan- 
cial affairs of the Department, multiplied. In spite of ex- 
postulations and threats from Fremont's supporters, Lincoln 
decided to remove him. But he would not do it without 
giving him a last chance. In sending the order for his re- 
moval and the appointment of General Hunter to his place, 
he directed that it was not to be delivered if there was any 
evidence that Fremont had fought, or was about to fight, a 
battle. It was not only Lincoln's sense of justice which led 
him to give a last chance to Fremont; it was a part of that 
far-seeing political wisdom of his — not to displace men until 
they themselves had demonstrated their unfitness so clearly 
that even their friends must finally agree that he had done 

It was generally believed in Missouri that Fremont had 
decided to receive no bearer of despatches, so that if the 
President did remove him he could say that he never had 
been informed of the fact. General Curtis, to whom Lin- 
coln forwarded his order by his friend Leonard Swett 
knowing this, sent copies by three separate messengers to 
Fremont's headquarters. The one who delivered it first was 
General T. I. McKenny, now of Olympia, Washington. His 
story, written out for this work, is good evidence of the pass 
to which things had come in Fremont's department : 

About three o'clock at night, on October 2J, 1861, I think 
it was, I was awakened by a messenger stating that General 
Curtis desired to see me at his headquarters. I found Leon- 
ard Swett there with the General, who informed me that he 
had an important message from the President to be taken 


to General Fremont, then in the field, it not being known 
where. I was shown the order that I was to convey, that 
General Fremont was relieved of his command of the De- 
partment of the West and General Hunter placed tempo- 
rarily in his stead. Aside from this, I had special instruc- 
tions which I understood were Mr. Lincoln's own — 

1st. If General Fremont had fought and gained a decided 
victory — not a mere skirmish — then not to deliver the mes- 

2d. If he was in the immediate presence of the enemy and 
about to begin a battle, not to deliver it. 

3d. If neither of these conditions prevailed, to deliver it 
and to make it known immediately, as it was thought that he 
was determined to receive no orders superseding him. 

I immediately went to St. Louis, waked up a second-hand 
dealer in clothing and fitted myself out as a Southern planter, 
and then took the train for Rolla, Missouri. There I secured 
horses and a guide, and about two o'clock at night rode rap- 
idly south in the direction of Springfield, Missouri, where I 
expected to find Fremont. I rode this distance principally 
in the night, passing through the small rebel towns at a very 
rapid gait. About 117 miles from Rolla I reached the outer 
cordon of Fremont's pickets. Here I had difficulty getting 
through the lines, as the instructions to the guard were very 
stringent. When I finally got in, there being no immediate 
prospects of a battle, I straightway made my way to Fre- 
mont's headquarters, where I met the officer of the day, who 
told me that I could not see General Fremont, but that he 
would introduce me to his chief of staff, Colonel Eaton. The 
latter also told me that I could not see the General ; but if I 
would make my business known to him, that he would com- 
municate it to Fremont. This I positively refused to do. 
He returned to Fremont, and communicated what I had said, 
but it had no effect. Late in the evening, however, I was 
hunted up by Colonel Eaton, who took me to General Fre- 
mont's office. 

The General was sitting at the end of quite a long table 
facing the door by which I entered. I never can forget the 
appearance of the man as he sat there, with his piercing eye, 
and his hair parted in the middle. I ripped from my coat 


lining the document, which had been sewed in there, and 
handed the same to him, which he nervously took and opened. 
He glanced at the superscription, and then at the signature at 
the bottom, not looking at the contents. A frown came over 
his brow, and he slammed the paper down on the table, and 
said, " Sir, how did you get admission into my lines? " I 
told him that I had come in as a messenger bearing informa- 
tion from the rebel lines. He waved me out, saying, " That 
will do for the present." 

I had orders to make the contents of the document known 
as soon as delivered. The first man I met was General Stur- 
gis, to whom I gave the information. I was then overtaken 
by the chief of staff, Eaton, who said that General Fremont 
was much disappointed with the communication, as he had 
thought that I had information from the rebel forces, and 
that he requested me not to make the message known for the 

I then told Colonel Eaton that I had important despatches 
for General Hunter and would like transportation and a 
guide, and he remarked that he would consult General Fre- 
mont on the subject. He soon returned with the informa- 
tion that Fremont did not know where General Hunter was 
and refused to give me any transportation, saying that he had 
been relieved and had no authority to do so. I then went to 
a self-styled " Colonel " Richardson, who had a kind of ma- 
rauding company, having been mustered into neither the 
United States service nor the State service. I gave him to 
understand that I would use my influence to have him regu- 
larly mustered into the service, whereupon he furnished me 
with a good horse and a pretended guide. I could get no 
information in regard to Hunter, but there was a rumor that 
he was making towards Springfield and was in the region 
of a place called Buffalo. I therefore started out about eleven 
o'clock at night on the Buffalo road, and, after great diffi- 
culty, reached the town about daylight, but I could hear 
nothing of General Hunter. I left my guide, and started out 
on the road to Bolivar. I had not proceeded more than 
twelve or fifteen miles before I heard the rattling of horses' 
hoofs in my rear. I stopped to await their arrival, and found 
that they were a small detachment of Hunter's troops to in- 


form me that the General had just arrived in Buffalo, where- 
upon I retraced my steps and delivered my message. General 
Hunter immediately started for Springfield in a four-mule 
ambulance. Arriving, he issued a short proclamation as- 
suming command. It was thought by some that this would 
produce a mutiny among the foreign element. It did not. 

It was not in the West alone that the President was suffer- 
ing disappointment. At the time when Fremont received the 
order retiring him, McClellan had been in command of the 
Army of the Potomac for over three months. His force had 
been increased until it numbered over 168,000 men. He had 
given night and day to organizing and drilling this army, 
and it seemed to those who watched him that he now had a 
force as near ready for battle as an army could be made 
ready by anything save actual fighting. Mr. Lincoln had 
fully sympathized with his young general's desire to pre- 
pare the Army of the Potomac for the field, and he had given 
him repeated proofs of his support. McClellan, however, 
seems to have felt from the first that Mr. Lincoln's kindness 
was merely a personal recognition of his own military ge- 
nius. He had conceived the idea that it was he alone who 
was to save the country. " The people call upon me to save 
the country," he wrote to his wife. " I must save it, and 
cannot respect anything that is in the way." The President's 
suggestions, when they did not agree with his own ideas, he 
regarded as an interference. Thus he imagined that the 
enemy had three or four times his force, and when the Presi- 
dent doubted this he complained, " The President cannot or 
will not see the true state of affairs." Lincoln, in his anxiety 
to know the details of the work in the army, went frequently 
to McClellan's headquarters. That the President had a 
serious purpose in these visits McClellan did not see. " I 
enclose a card just received from ' A. Lincoln,' " he wrote to 
his wife one day ; " it shows too much deference to be seen 


outside." In another letter to Mrs. McClellan he spoke of 
being "interrupted" by the President and Secretary Seward, 
" who had nothing in particular to say," and again of con- 
cealing himself " to dodge all enemies in shape of ' brows- 
ing ' Presidents, etc." His plans he kept to himself, and 
when at the Cabinet meetings, to which he was constantly 
summoned, military matters were discussed, he seemed to 
feel that it was an encroachment on his special business. " I 
am becoming daily more disgusted with this Administration 
— perfectly sick of it," he wrote early in October; and a 
few days later, " I was obliged to attend a meeting of the 
Cabinet at 8 p. m. and was bored and annoyed. There are 
some of the greatest geese in the Cabinet I have ever seen — 
enough to tax the patience of Job." 

As time went on, he began to show plainly his contempt 
of the President, frequently allowing him to wait in the ante- 
room of his house while he transacted business with others. 
This discourtesy was so open that McClellan' s staff noticed 
it, and newspaper correspondents commented on it. The 
President was too keen not to see the situation, but he was 
strong enough to ignore it. It was a battle he wanted from 
McClellan, not deference. " I will hold McClellan's horse, 
if he will only bring us success," he said one day. 

While there was a pretty general disposition at first to give 
McClellan time to organize, before the first three months 
were up Lincoln was receiving impatient comments on the 
inactivity of the army. This impatience became anger and 
dismay when, on October 21, the battle of Ball's Bluff 
ended in defeat. To Mr. Lincoln, Ball's Bluff was more 
than a military reverse. By it he suffered a terrible personal 
loss, in the death of one of his oldest and dearest friends, 
Colonel E. D. Baker. Mr. C. C. Coffin, who was at McClel- 
lan's headquarters when Lincoln received the news of his 
friend's death, tells of the scene : 


The afternoon was lovely, a rare October day. I learned 
early in the day that something was going on up the Poto- 
mac, near Edwards's Ferry, by the troops under General 
Banks. What was going on no one knew, even at McClel- 
lan's headquarters. It was near sunset when, accompanied 
by a fellow correspondent, I went to ascertain what was 
taking place. We entered the ante-room, and sent our cards 
to General McClellan. While we waited, President Lincoln 
came in ; he recognized us, reached out his hand, spoke of the 
beauty of the afternoon, while waiting for the return of the 
young lieutenant who had gone to announce his arrival. The 
lines were deeper in the President's face than when I saw him 
in his own home, the cheeks more sunken. They had lines of 
care and anxiety. For eighteen months he had borne a bur- 
den such as has fallen upon few men, a burden as weighty 
as that which rested upon the great law-giver of Israel. 

" Please to walk this way/' said the lieutenant. We could 
hear the click of the telegraph in the adjoining room and low 
conversation between the President and General McClellan, 
succeeded by silence, excepting the click, click of the instru- 
ment, which went on with its tale of disaster. Five minutes 
passed, and then Mr. Lincoln, unattended, with bowed head 
and tears rolling down his furrowed cheeks, his face pale 
and wan, his breast heaving with emotion, passed through 
the room. He almost fell as he stepped into the street. We 
sprang involuntarily from our seats to render assistance, but 
he did not fall. With both hands pressed upon his heart, he 
walked down the street, not returning the salute of the senti- 
nel pacing his beat before the door. 

General McClellan came a moment later. " I have not 
much news to tell you," he said. " There has been a move- 
ment of troops across the Potomac at Edwards's Ferry, 
under General Stone, and Colonel Baker is reported killed. 
That is about all I can give you." 

After Ball's Bluff, the grumbling against inaction in the 
Army of the Potomac increased until public attention was 
suddenly distracted by an incident of an entirely new char- 
acter, and one which changed the discouragement of the 


North over the repeated military failures and the inactivity 
of the army into exultation. This incident was the capture, 
on November 8, by Captain Wilkes, of the warship San 
Jacinto, of two Confederate commissioners to Europe, 
Messrs. Mason and Slidell. Captain Wilkes had stopped 
the British royal mail packet Trent, one day out from 
Havana, and taken the envoys with their secretaries from 
her. It was not until November 1 5 that Captain Wilkes put 
into Hampton Roads and sent the Navy Department word of 
his performance. 

Of course the message was immediately carried to Mr. 
Lincoln at the White House. A few hours later Benson J. 
Lossing called on the President, and the conversation turned 
on the news. Mr. Lincoln did not hesitate to express him- 

" I fear the traitors will prove to be white elephants, ,, he 
said. " We must stick to American principles concerning 
the rights of neutrals. We fought Great Britain for insist- 
ing by theory and practice on the right to do exactly what 
Captain Wilkes has done. If Great Britain shall now pro- 
test against the act and demand their release, we must give 
them up, apologize for the act as a violation of our doc- 
trines, and thus forever bind her over to keep the peace in 
relation to neutrals, and so acknowledge that she has been 
wrong for sixty years." 

As time went on, Lincoln had every reason to suppose that 
there was an overwhelming sentiment in the country in fa- 
vor of keeping the commissioners and braving the wrath of 
England. Banquets and presentations, votes of thanks by 
the cabinet and by Congress, all kinds of ovation, were ac- 
corded Captain Wilkes. During this excitement the Presi- 
dent held his peace, not even referring to the affair in themes- 
sage he sent to Congress on December 3. He was studying 
the situation. Before his inauguration he had said one day to 


Seward : " One part of the business, Governor Seward, I 
think I shall leave almost entirely in your hands ; that is, the 
dealing with those foreign nations and their governments." 
Now, however, he saw that he must exercise a controlling 
influence. The person with whom he seems to have dis- 
cussed the case most seriously was Charles Sumner, the 
chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. 

Sumner was one of the few men who had from the first 
believed in Lincoln. Although himself most radical, he had 
been appreciative of the President-elect's point of view, and 
had seen in the interval between the election and the inau- 
guration that, as a matter of fact, Lincoln was, on the es- 
sential question at issue, " firm as a chain of steel." Thus, 
on January 26, he wrote, " Mr. Lincoln is perfectly firm. 
He says that the Republican party shall not, with his assent, 
become a mere sucked egg, all shell and no meat, the princi- 
ple all sucked out." Although himself a most polished, even 
a fastidious gentleman, Sumner never allowed Lincoln's 
homely ways to hide his great qualities. He gave him a re- 
spect and esteem at the start which others accorded only 
after experience. The Senator was most tactful, too, in his 
dealings with Mrs. Lincoln, and soon had a firm footing in 
the household. That he was proud of this, perhaps a little 
boastful, there is no doubt. Lincoln himself appreciated this. 
" Sumner thinks he runs me," he said, with an amused twin- 
kle, one day. After the seizure of Mason and Slidell, the 
President talked over the question frequently with Sumner, 
who had, from the receipt of the news, declared, " We shall 
have to give them up." 

Early in December, word reached America that England 
was getting ready to go to war in case we did not give up the 
commissioners. The news aroused the deepest indignation, 
and the determination to keep Mason and Slidell was for a 
brief time stronger than ever. Common sense was doing its 


work, however. Gradually the people began to feel that, 
after all, the commissioners were " white elephants." On 
December 19, the Administration received a notice that the 
only redress which would satisfy the British government 
would be " the liberation of the four gentlemen," and their 
delivery to the British minister at Washington and a " suit- 
able apology for the aggression which had been committed. ,, 
In the days which followed, while the Secretary of State was 
preparing the reply to be submitted, Sumner was much with 
the President. We have the Senator's assurance that the 
President was applying his mind carefully to the answer, so 
that it would be essentially his. It is evident from Sumner's 
letter, that Lincoln was resolved that there should be no war 
with England. Thus, on December 23, Sumner wrote to 
John Bright, with whom he maintained a regular corre- 
spondence : " Your letter and also Cobden's I showed at once 
to the President, who is much moved and astonished by the 
English intelligence. He is essentially honest and pacific in 
disposition, with a natural slowness. Yesterday he said to 
me, ' There will be no war unless England is bent upon hav- 
ing one/ " 

It was on Christmas day that Seward finally had his an- 
swer ready. It granted the British demand as to the sur- 
render of the prisoners, though it refused an apology — on 
the ground that Captain Wilkes had acted without orders. 
After the paper had been discussed by the Cabinet, but no de- 
cision reached, and all of the members but Seward had de- 
parted, Lincoln said, according to Mr. Frederick Seward: 
" Governor Seward, you will go on, of course, preparing 
your answer, which, as I understand it, will state the rea- 
sons why they ought to be given up. Now, I have a mind 
to try my hand at stating the reasons why they ought not 
to be given up. We will compare the points on each side." 

But the next day, after a Cabinet meeting at which it was 


decided finally to return the prisoners, when Secretary Sew- 
ard said to the President: " You thought you might frame 
an argument for the other side? " Mr. Lincoln smiled, and 
shook his head. " I found I could not make an argument 
that would satisfy my own mind," he said ; " and that proved 
to me your ground was the right one." 

Lincoln's first conclusion was the real ground on which 
the Administration submitted : " We must stick to American 
principles concerning the rights of neutrals." The country 
grimaced at the conclusion. It was to many, as Chase de- 
clared it was to him, " gall and wormwood." Lowell's clever 
verse expressed best the popular feeling : 

We give the critters back, John, 
Cos Abram thought 't was right; 

It warn't your bullyin' clack, John, 
Provokin' us to fight. 

The decision raised Mr. Lincoln immeasurably in the view 
of thoughtful men, especially in England. 

" If reparation were made at all of which few of us felt 
more than a hope," wrote John Stuart Mill, " we thought 
that it would be made obviously as a concession to prudence, 
not to principle. We thought that there would have been 
truckling to the newspaper editors and supposed fire-eaters 
who were crying out for retaining the prisoners at all haz- 
ards. . . . We expected everything, in short, which 
would have been weak, and timid, and paltry. The only 
thing which no one seemed to expect is what has actually 
happened. Mr. Lincoln's government have done none of 
these things. Like honest men they have said in direct terms 
that our demand was right; that they yielded to it because 
it was just; that if they themselves had received the same 
treatment, they would have demanded the same reparation ; 
and if what seemed to be the American side of the question 
was not the just side, they would be on the side of justice, 
happy as they were to find after their resolution had been 
taken, that it was also the side which America had formerly 


defended. Is there any one capable of a moral judgment or 
feeling, who will say that his opinion of America and Amen* 
can statesmen is not raised by such an act, done on such 
grounds ? " 

Before the Trent affair was settled another matter 
came up to distract attention from McClellan's inactivity 
and to harass Mr. Lincoln. This time it was trouble in his 
official family. Mr. Cameron, his Secretary of War, had 
become even more obnoxious to the public than Fremont or 
McClellan. Like Seward, Cameron had been one of Lin- 
coln's competitors at the Chicago Convention in i860. His 
appointment to the Cabinet, however, had not been made, 
like Seward's, because of his eminent fitness. It was the one 
case in which a bargain had been made before the nomina- 
tion. This bargain was not struck by Mr. Lincoln, but by 
his friend and ablest supporter at Chicago, Judge David 
Davis. There was so general a belief in the country that 
Cameron was corrupt in his political methods that, when it 
was noised that he was to be one of Lincoln's Cabinet, a 
strong effort was made to displace him. It succeeded tempo- 
rarily, the President-elect withdrawing the promise of ap- 
pointment after he had made it. Such pressure was brought 
to bear, however, that in the end he made Judge Davis's 
pledge good and gave the portfolio of war to Mr. Cameron. 

The unsatisfactory preliminaries to the appointment must 
have affected the relations of the two men. Cameron's ene- 
mies watched his Administration with sharp eyes, and not 
long after the war began commenced to bring accusations 
of maladministration to the President. The gist of them 
was that contracts were awarded for politics' sake and that 
the government was being swindled wholesale. 

" We hear," said the " Evening Post " in June, " of knap- 
sacks glued together and falling to pieces after the first day's 
use ; of uniform coats which are torn to pieces with a slight 


pull of the fingers ; of blankets too small if they were good, 
and too poor stuff to be useful if they were of the proper 
size, shoes, caps, trousers, coats — all are too often of such 
poor material that before a soldier is ready for service he 
must be clothed anew." 

Soon after the extra session of Congress assembled in July, 
a committee was appointed to look into the contracts the 
War Department was making. This committee spent the 
entire fall in investigation, sitting in Boston, New York, 
Chicago, St. Louis, and other cities. Its report, when made 
public in December, proved to be full of sensational devel- 
opments. The Secretary of War, it was clear, had not been 
able to manage his department without great scandal. If he 
himself were incorruptible he was not big enough for his 
duties and inefficiency in affairs of State, particularly in time 
of war, is criminal. The matter was too serious a one for 
Mr. Lincoln to overlook. The public would not have per- 
mitted him to overlook it, even if he had been so disposed. 

Cameron not only brought the President into trouble by 
his bad management of the business of his office ; but in his 
December report he attempted, without Mr. Lincoln's knowl- 
edge, to advocate a measure in direct opposition to what he 
knew to be the President's policy in regard to slavery. This 
measure declared in favor of arming the slaves and employ- 
ing " their services against the rebels, under proper military 
regulation, discipline, and command." This report was 
mailed before the President saw it ; but by his order it was 
promptly withdrawn from circulation as soon as he knew its 

Nine months of this sort of experience convinced Lincoln 
that Cameron was not the man for the place, and he took 
advantage of a remark which the Secretary, probably in a 
moment of depression, had made to him more than once, that 
he wanted a " change of position," and made him Minister 


to Russia. It is plain from Lincoln's letters to Cameron at 
this time and his subsequent treatment of him that, with 
characteristic fair-dealing, he took into consideration all the 
enormous difficulties which beset the Secretary of War. He 
saw what the public refused to see, that " to bring the War 
Department up to the standard of the times, and work an 
army of 500,000 with machinery adapted to a peace estab- 
lishment of 12,000, is no easy task." He had all this in mind 
evidently when he relieved Cameron, for he assured him of 
his personal regard and of his confidence in his " ability, pa- 
triotism, and fidelity to public trust." A few months later 
he did still more for Cameron. In April, 1862, Congress 
passed a bill censuring the Secretary for certain of his trans- 
actions. The President soon after sent the body a message 
in which he claimed that he himself was equally responsible 
in the transaction for which Cameron was being censured : 

I should be wanting equally in candor and in justice if I 
should leave the censure expressed in this resolution to rest 
exclusively or chiefly upon Mr. Cameron. The same senti- 
ment is unanimously entertained by the heads of departments 
who participated in the proceedings which the House of Rep- 
resentatives has censured. It is due to Mr. Cameron to say 
that, although he fully approved the proceedings, they were 
not moved nor suggested by himself, and that not only the 
President but all the other heads of departments, were at least 
equally responsible with him for whatever error, wrong, or 
fault was committed in the premises. 

In deciding on a successor to Mr. Cameron, the President 
showed more clearly, perhaps, than in any other appointment 
of his whole presidential career how far above personal re- 
sentments he was in his public dealings. He chose a man 
who six years before, at a time when consideration from a 
superior meant a great deal to him, had subjected him to a 
slight, and this for no other apparent reason than that he was 
rude in dress and unpolished in manner ; a man who, besides. 


had been his most scornful, even vituperative, critic since his 
election. This man was Edwin M. Stanton, a lawyer of abil- 
ity, integrity, and loyalty, who had won the confidence of the 
North by his patriotic services in Buchanan's Cabinet from 
December, i860, to the close of his administration, March 4, 
1 86 1. Lincoln's first encounter with Stanton had been irf 
1855, in his first case of importance outside of Illinois. He 
was a counsel in the case with Stanton, but the latter ignored 
him so openly that all those associated with them observed it. 

Lincoln next knew of Stanton when, as President-elect, 
he watched from Springfield the deplorable dissolution of 
the federal authority which Buchanan allowed, and he must 
have felt profoundly grateful for the new vigor and determi- 
nation which were infused into the Administration when, in 
December, i860, Stanton and Holt entered Buchanan's Cabi- 
net. After Lincoln was inaugurated he had nothing to do 
with Stanton. In fact he did not see him from the 4th of 
March, 1861, to the day he handed him his commission as 
Secretary of War, in January, 1862. Stanton, however, was 
watching Lincoln's administration closely, even disdainfully. 
After Bull Run he wrote to ex-President Buchanan : " The 
imbecility of this Administration culminated in that catas- 
trophe; an irretrievable misfortune and national disgrace, 
never to be forgotten, are to be added to the ruin of all peace- 
ful pursuits and national bankrputcy, as the result of Lin- 
coln's ' running the machine ' for five months." 

McClellan, who saw much of Stanton in the fall of 1861, 

The most disagreeable thing about him was the extreme 
virulence with which he abused the President, the Adminis- 
tration, and the Republican party. He carried this to such 
an extent that I was often shocked by it. He never spoke of 
the President in any other way than as the " original go- 
rilla," and often said that Du Chaillu was a fool to wander 


all tfic way to Africa in search of what he could so easily 
have found at Springfield, Illinois. Nothing could have been 
more bitter than his words and manner always were when 
speaking of the Administration and the Republican party. 
He never gave them credit for honesty or patriotism, and 
very seldom for any ability. 

Lincoln, if he knew of this abuse, which is improbable, re- 
garded it no more seriously than he did McClellan's slights. 
He knew Stanton was able and loyal; that the country be- 
lieved in him ; that he would administer the department with 
honesty and energy. Furthermore, he knew of the intimacy 
between McClellan and Stanton, and as he saw the great 
necessity of harmonious relations between the head of the 
War Department and the commander of the army, he was 
more in favor of Stanton. The appointment was generally 
regarded as a wise selection, and in many quarters aroused 

" No man ever entered upon the discharge of the most mo- 
mentous public duties under more favorable auspices, so far 
as public confidence and support can create such auspices," 
said the New York " Tribune." " In all the loyal States 
there has not been one dissent from the general acclamation 
which hailed Mr. Stanton's appointment as eminently wise 
and happy. The simple truth is that Mr. Stanton was not 
appointed to and does not accept the War Department in 
support of any program or policy whatever, but the un- 
qualified and uncompromising vindication of the authority 
and integrity of the Union. Whatever views he may enter- 
tain respecting slavery will not be allowed to swerve him 
one hair from the line of paramount and single-hearted de- 
votion to the National cause. If slavery or anti-slavery shall 
at any time be found obstructing or impeding the nation in 
its efforts to crush out this monstrous rebellion, he will walk 
straight on in the path of duty though that path should lead 
him over or through the impediment and insure its annihila- 


Stanton took hold of his task with the aggressive ear- 
nestness and energy of his nature. He made open war on 
contractors. He did not hesitate to let McClellan know 
that he expected an advance. As he wrote Charles A. Dana 
on January 22 : 

" This army has got to fight or run away ; and while men 
are striving nobly in the West, the champagne and oysters 
on the Potomac must be stopped." 

It is evident from this same letter to Mr. Dana that he had 
undertaken to discipline even the President for his habit of 
joking : 

" I feel a deep, earnest feeling growing up around me. We 
have no jokes or trivialities, but all with whom I act show 
that they are in dead earnest. " 

The excitement over the Trent affair, the investigation 
of the War Department, the dismissal of Cameron, and 
the appointment of Stanton, diverted public criticism from 
McClellan ; but never for long at a time. The inactivity of 
the Army of the Potomac had become the subject of gibes 
and sneers. Lincoln stood by the General. He had promised 
him all the " sense and information " he had, and he gave it. 
When Congress opened on December 3, he took the oppor- 
tunity to remind the country that the General was its own 
choice, as well as his, and that support was due him : 

Since your last adjournment Lieutenant-General Scott 
has retired from the head of the army. . . . With the 
retirement of General Scott came the executive duty of ap- 
pointing in his stead a general-in-chief of the army. It is a 
fortunate circumstance that neither in council nor country 
was there, so far as I know, any difference of opinion as to 
the proper person to be selected. The retiring chief repeat- 
edly expressed his judgment in favor of General McClellan 
for the position, and in this the nation seemed to give a 
unanimous concurrence. The designation of General Mc- 


Clellan is, therefore, in considerable degree the selection of 
the country as well as of the executive, and hence there is 
better reason to hope there will be given him the confidence 
and cordial support thus by fair implication promised, and 
without which he cannot with so full efficiency serve the 

At this time Lincoln had every reason to believe that Mc- 
Clellan would soon move. The General certainly was assur- 
ing the few persons whom he condescended to take into his 
confidence to that effect. The Hon. Galusha A. Grow, of 
Pennsylvania, Speaker of the House, says that very soon 
after Congress came together, the members began to com- 
ment on the number of board barracks that were going up 
around Washington. 

" It seemed to them," says Mr. Grow, " that there were a 
great many more than were necessary for hospital and re- 
serve purposes. The roads at that time in Virginia were ex- 
cellent ; everybody was eager for an advance. Congressmen 
observed the barracks with dismay ; it looked as if McClellan 
was going into winter quarters. Finally several of them 
came to me and stated their anxiety, asking what it meant. 
1 Well, gentlemen/ I said, ' I don't know what it means, but 
I will ask the General,' so I went to McClellan, who received 
me kindly, and told him how all the members were feeling, 
and asked him if the army was really going into winter quar- 
ters. * No, no,' McClellan said, ' I have no intention of put- 
ting the army into winter quarters; I mean the campaign 
shall be short, sharp, and decisive.' He began explaining his 
plan to me, but I interrupted him, saying I did not desire to 
know his plan ; I preferred not to know it, in fact. If I could 
assure members of Congress that the army was going to 
move, it was all that was necessary. I returned with his as- 
surance that there would soon be an advance. Weeks went 
on, however, without the promised advance; nor did the 
Army of the Potomac leave the vicinity of Washington until 
Mr. Lincoln issued the special orders compelling McClellan 
to move." 


Lincoln continued to defend McClellan. " We've got to 
stand by the General," he told his visitors. " I suppose," he 
added dubiously, " he knows his business." But loyal as he 
was he too was losing patience. His friend, Mr. Arnold, tells 
how the President said one day to a friend of General Mc- 
Clellan, doubtless with the expectation that it would be re- 
peated : " McClellan's tardiness reminds me of a man in 
Illinois, whose attorney was not sufficiently aggressive. The 
client knew a few law phrases, and finally, after waiting un- 
til his patience was exhausted by the non-action of his coun- 
sel, he sprang to his feet and exclaimed : " Why don't you go 
at him with a Fi fa demurrer, a capias, a surrebutter, or a ne 
exeat, or something, and not stand there like a nudum pac- 
tum, or a non est? " 

Later he made a remark which was repeated up and down 
the country : " If General McClellan does not want to use 
the army for some days, I should like to borrow it and see if 
it cannot be made to do something." 

Towards the end of December McClellan fell ill. The 
long-expected advance was out of the question until he re- 
covered. Distracted at this idea, the President for the first 
time asserted himself as commander-in-chief of the forces of 
the United States. Heretofore he had used his military au- 
thority principally in raising men and commissioning offi- 
cers ; campaigns he had left to the generals. It had been to 
be sure largely because of his urgency that the Battle of Bull 
Run had been fought. After Bull Run he had prepared a 
" Memorandum of Military Policy Suggested by the Bull 
Run Defeat," and may have thought the War Department 
was working according to this. When he relieved Fremont 
he had offered his successor a few suggestions but he had 
been careful to add : 

" Knowing how hazardous it is to bind down a distant 
commander in the field to specific lines and operations, as so 


much always depends on a knowledge of localities and pass- 
ing events, it is intended therefore, to leave a considerable 
margin for the exercise of your judgment and discretion." 

Early in December, weary with waiting for McClellan, he 
had sent him a list of questions concerning the Potomac 
campaign. They were broad hints, but in no sense orders 
and McClellan hardly gave them a second thought. Nicolay 
and Hay say that after keeping them ten days, the General 
returned them with hurried answers in pencil. Certainly he 
was in no degree influenced by them. And this was about 
all the military authority — " interference " some critics 
called it, — that the President had exercised up to the time 
McClellan was shut up by fever. 

Now, however, he undertook to learn direct from the offi- 
cers the condition things were in, and if it was not possible 
to get some work out of the army somewhere along the line. 
Particularly was he anxious that East Tennessee be relieved. 
The Unionists there were " being hanged and driven to de- 
spair," there was danger of them going over to the South. 
All this the generals knew. Lincoln telegraphed Halleck, 
then in command of the Western Department, and Buell, in 
charge of the forces in Kentucky, asking if they were " in 
concert " and urging a movement which he supposed to have 
been decided upon some time before. The replies he received 
disappointed and distressed him. There seemed to be no 
more idea of advancing in the West than in the East. The 
plans he supposed settled his generals now controverted. He 
could get no promise of action, no precise information. " De- 
lay is ruining us," he wrote to Buell on January 7, " and 
it is indispensable for me to have something definite.'' And 
yet, convinced though he was that his plans were practica- 
ble, he would not make them into orders. 

" For my own views," he wrote Buell on January 13, "1 
have not offered and do not offer them as orders; and while 


I am glad to have them respectfully considered, I would 
blame you to follow them contrary to your own clear judg- 
ment, unless I should put them in the form of orders. As to 
General McClellan's views, you understand your duty in re- 
gard to them better than I do. With this preliminary, I state 
my general idea of this war to be that we have the greater 
numbers, and the enemy has greater facility of concentrat- 
ing forces upon points of collision ; that we must fail unless 
we can find some way of making our advantage an over- 
match for his; and that this can only be done by menacing 
him with superior forces at different points at the same time, 
so that we can safely attack one or both if he makes no 
change; and if he weakens one to strengthen the other, for- 
bear to attack the strengthened one, but seize and hold the 
weakened one, gaining so much/' 

This hesitancy about exercising his military authority, 
came from Lincoln's consciousness that he knew next to 
nothing of the business of fighting. When he saw that those 
supposed to know something of the science did nothing, he 
resolved to learn the subject himself as thoroughly as he 
could. " He gave himself, night and day, to the study of the 
military situation," say Nicolay and Hay, his secretaries. 
" He read a large number of strategical works. He pored 
over the reports from the various departments and districts 
of the field of war. He held long conferences with eminent 
generals and admirals, and astonished them by the extent of 
his special knowledge and the keen intelligence of his ques- 

By the time McClellan was about again, Lincoln had 
learned enough of the situation to convince him that the 
Army of the Potomac could and must advance, and on Janu- 
ary 27, he, for the first time, used his power as comman- 
der-in-chief of the army, and issued his General War Order 
No. 1. 

Ordered, That the 22d day of February, 1862, be the day 
for a general movement of all the land and naval forces of 


the United States against the insurgent forces. That es- 
pecially the army at and about Fortress Monroe ; the Army 
of the Potomac; the Army of Western Virginia; the army 
near Munfordville, Kentucky ; the army and flotilla at Cairo, 
and a naval force in the Gulf of Mexico, be ready to move 
on that day. 

That all other forces, both land and naval, with their re- 
spective commanders, obey existing orders for the time, and 
be ready to obey additional orders when duly given. 

That the heads of departments, and especially the Secre- 
taries of War and of the Navy, with all their subordinates, 
and the general-in-chief, with all other commanders and sub- 
ordinates of land and naval forces, will severally be held to 
their strict and full responsibilities for prompt execution of 
this order. 

Four days later the President issued his first Special War 
Order, applying exclusively to the Army of the Potomac. 

Ordered, That all the disposable force of the Army of the 
Potomac, after providing safely for the defense of Washing- 
ton, be formed into an expedition for the immediate object 
of seizing and occupying a point upon the railroad south- 
westward of what is known as Manassas Junction, all de- 
tails to be in the discretion of the commander-in-chief, and 
the expedition to move before or on the 226. day of Febru- 
ary next. 

For a time after these orders were issued there was gen- 
eral hopefulness in the country. The newspapers that had 
been attacking the President now praised him for taking 
hold of the army. " It has infused new spirit into every one 
since the President appears to take such an interest in our 
operations," wrote an officer from the West, to the 
" Tribune." 

The hope of an advance in the East was short-lived. Mc- 
Clellan was not willing to carry out the plan for the cam- 
paign which the President approved. Mr. Lincoln believed 
that the Army of the Potomac should move directly across 


Virginia against Richmond, while McClellan contended that 
the safe and brilliant movement was down the Chesapeake, 
up the Rapahannock to Urbana and across land to the York 
river. There was much controversy between the friends 
of the two plans. It ended in the President giving up to his 
general. Of one thing he felt certain, McClellan would 
not work as well on a plan in which he did not believe as 
on one to which he was committed, and as success was what 
Mr. Lincoln wanted he finally consented to the Chesapeake 
route. It brought bitter criticism upon him, especially from 
the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War. 
Common sense told men that the direct overland route to 
Richmond was the better. The President, they said, was 
afraid of his general-in-chief. 

While harassed by this inaction and obstinacy of McClel- 
lan's, Mr. Lincoln was plunged into a bitter private sorrow. 
Early in February his two younger boys, Willie and Tad, 
as they were familiarly known, fell sick. In the tender- 
ness of his nature Mr. Lincoln could never see suffering 
of any kind without a passionate desire to relieve it. Es- 
pecially was he moved by the distress of a child. Indeed his 
love for children had already become familiar to the whole 
public by the touching little stories which visitors had 
brought away from the White House and which crept into 
the newspapers : 

" At the reception Saturday afternoon, at the President's 
house, ,, wrote a correspondent of the " Independent," 
" many persons noticed three little girls, poorly dressed, the 
children of some mechanic or laboring man, who had fol- 
lowed the visitors into the White House to gratify their cu- 
riosity. They passed around from room to room, and were 
hastening through the reception room, with some trepida- 
tion, when the President called to them, ' Little girls, are you 
going to pass me without shaking hands ? ' Then he bent his 
tall, awkward form down, and shook each little girl warmly 


by the hand. Everybody in the apartment was spellbound by 
the incident, so simple in itself." 

Many men and women now living who were children in 
Washington at this time recall the President's gentleness to 
them. Mr. Frank P. Blair of Chicago, says : 

During the war my grandfather, Francis P. Blair, Sr., 
lived at Silver Springs, north of Washington, seven miles 
from the White House. It was a magnificent place of four 
or five hundred acres, with an extensive lawn in the rear of 
the house. The grandchildren gathered there frequently. 
There were eight or ten of us, our ages ranging from eight 
to twelve years. Although I was but seven or eight years of 
age, Mr. Lincoln's visits were of such importance to us boys 
as to leave a clear impression on my memory. He drove out 
to the place quite frequently. We boys, for hours at a time, 
played " town ball " on the vast lawn, and Mr. Lincoln would 
join ardently in the sport. I remember vividly how he ran 
with the children; how long were his strides, and how far 
his coat-tails stuck out behind, and how we tried to hit him 
with the ball, as he ran the bases. He entered into the spirit 
of the play as completely as any of us, and we invariably 
hailed his coming with delight. 

The protecting sympathy and tenderness the President ex- 
tended to all children became a passionate affection for his 
own. Willie and Tad had always been privileged beings at 
the White House, and their pranks and companionship un- 
doubtedly did much to relieve the tremendous strain the 
President was suffering. Many visitors who saw him with 
the lads at this period have recorded their impressions: — 
how keenly he enjoyed the children ; how indulgent and af- 
fectionate he was with them. Again and again he related 
their sayings, sometimes even to grave delegations. Thus 
Moncure Conway tells of going to see the President with a 
commission which wanted to " talk over the situation." The 
President met them, laughing: like a boy. The White House 


was in a state of feverish excitement, he said; one of his 
boys had come in that morning to tell him that the cat had 
kittens, and now the other had just announced that the dog 
had puppies. 

When both the children fell ill ; when he saw them suffer- 
ing, and when it became evident, as it finally did, that Willie, 
the elder of the two, would die, the President's anguish 
was intense. He would slip away from visitors and Cabinet 
at every opportunity, to go to the sick room, and during the 
last four or five days of Willie's life, when the child was suf- 
fering terribly and lay in an unbroken delirium, Mr. Lincoln 
shared with the nurse the nightly vigils at the bedside. When 
Willie finally died, on February 20, the President was so 
prostrated that it was feared by many of his friends that he 
would succumb entirely to his grief. Many public duties he 
undoubtedly did neglect. Indeed, a month after Willie's 
death, we find him apologizing for delay to answer a letter 
because of a " domestic affliction." 

If one consults the records of the day, however, it is evi- 
dent that Mr. Lincoln did try to attend to public duties even 
in the worst of this trial. Only two days after the funeral, 
on February 23, he held a Cabinet meeting, and the day fol- 
lowing that, a correspondent wrote to the New York 
" Evening Post : " 

Mr. Lincoln seems to have entirely recovered his health, 
and is again at his ordinary duties, spending, not infre- 
quently, eighteen out of the twenty-four hours upon the af- 
fairs of the nation. He is frequently called up three and four 
times in a night to receive important messages from the 
West. Since his late bereavement he looks sad and care- 
worn, but is in very good health again. 

There is ample evidence that in this crushing grief the 
President sought earnestly to find what consolation the 
Christian religion might have fo*- him. It was the first ex- 


perience of his life, so far as we know, which drove him to 
look outside of his own mind and heart for help to endure a 
personal grief. It was the first time in his life when he had 
not been sufficient for his own experience. Religion up to 
this time had been an intellectual interest. The 
Christian dogma had been taught him as a child 
and all his life he had been accustomed to hearing 
every phase of human conduct and experience tested 
by the precepts of the Bible as they were in- 
terpreted by the more or less illiterate church of the West. 
For a short period of his life when he was about twenty-five 
years of age, it is certain that he revolted against the Chris- 
tian system, and even went so far as to prepare a pamphlet 
against it. The manuscript of this work was destroyed by 
his friend, Samuel Hill. This period of doubt passed, and 
though there is nothing to show that Mr. Lincoln returned 
to the literal interpretation of Christianity which he had 
been taught, and though he never joined any religious sect, 
it is certain that he regarded the Bible and the church with 
deep reverence. He was a regular attendant upon religious 
services, and one has only to read his letters and speeches to 
realize that his literary style and his moral point of view 
were both formed by the Bible. 

It was after his election to the presidency that we begin 
to find evidences that Mr. Lincoln held to the belief that 
the affairs of men are in the keeping of a Divine Being who 
hears and answers prayer and who is to be trusted to bring 
about the final triumph of the right. He publicly acknow- 
ledged such a faith when he bade his Springfield friends 
good-by in February, 1861. In his first inaugural address, 
he told the country that the difficulty between North and 
South could be adjusted in " the best way," by " intelli- 
gence, patriotism, Christianity and a firm reliance on Him 
who has never vet forsaken this favored knd." When he 


was obliged to summon a Congress to provide means for a 
civil war, he started them forth on their duties with the 
words, " Let us renew our trust in God, and go forward 
without fear and with manly hearts." In August, 1861, he 
issued a proclamation for a National Fast Day which is most 
impressive for its reverential spirit : 

" Whereas it is fit and becoming in all people, at all times, 
to acknowledge and revere the supreme government of God ; 
to bow in humble submission to His chastisements; to con- 
fess and deplore their sins and transgressions, in the full con- 
viction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom ; 
and to pray with all fervency and contrition for the pardon 
of their past offenses, and for a blessing upon their present 
and prospective action : 

"And whereas when our own beloved country, once, by the 
blessing of God, united, prosperous, and happy, is now 
afflicted with faction and civil war, it is peculiarly fit for us 
to recognize the hand of God in this terrible visitation, and 
in sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and crimes as a 
nation, and as individuals, to humble ourselves before Him 
and to pray for His mercy — to pray that we may be spared 
further punishment, though most justly deserved; that our 
arms may be blessed and made effectual for the re-establish- 
ment of law, order, and peace throughout the wide extent of 
our country; and that the inestimable boon of civil and reli- 
gious liberty, earned under His guidance and blessing by the 
labors and sufferings of our fathers, may be restored in all 
its original excellence. ,, 

But it is not until after the death of his son that we begin 
to find evidence that Mr. Lincoln was making a personal test 
of Christianity. Broken by his anxiety for the country, 
wounded nigh to death by his loss, he felt that he must have 
a support outside of himself; that from some source he must 
draw new courage. Could he find the help he needed in the 
Christian faith? From this time on he was seen often with 
the Bible in his hand, and he is known to have prayed fre- 


quently. His personal relation to God occupied his mind 
much. He was deeply concerned to know, as he told a visit- 
ing delegation once, not whether the Lord was on his side, 
but whether he was on the Lord's side. Henceforth, one of 
the most real influences in Abraham Lincoln's life and con- 
duct is his dependence upon a personal God. 



The 22d of February was the day that the President had 
set for an advance of the army but it was evident to both 
the Administration and the country that the Army of the 
Potomac would not be ready to move then. Nor could any- 
body find from McClellan when he would move. The mut- 
tering of the country began again. Committee after com- 
mittee waited on the President. He did his best to assure 
them that he was doing all he could. He pointed out to them 
how time and patience, as well as men and money, were 
needed in war, and he argued that, above all, he must not 
be interfered with. It was at this time that he used his strik- 
ing illustration of Blondin. Some gentlemen from the West 
called at the White House one day, excited and troubled 
about some of the commissions or omissions of the Admin- 
istration. The President heard them patiently, and then 
replied : " Gentlemen, suppose all the property you were worth 
was in gold and you had put it in the hands of Blondin, to 
carry across the Niagara river on a rope. Would you 
shake the cable or keep shouting at him, ' Blondin, stand up a 
little straighter — Blondin, stoop a little more — go a little 
faster — lean a little more to the north — lean a little more to 
the south? ' No, you would hold your breath as well as your 
tongue, and keep your hands off until he was safe over. The 
Government is carrying an enormous weight. Untold treas- 
ures are in their hands; they are doing the very best they 
can. Don't badger them. Keep silence, and we will get you 
safe across." 



One of the most insistent of the many bodies which beset 
him was the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the 
War, appointed the December before. Aggressive and pa- 
triotic, these gentlemen were determined the army should 
move. But it was not until March that they became 
convinced that anything would be done. One day early in 
that month, Senator Chandler, of Michigan, a member of 
the committee, met George W. Julian. He was in high 
glee. " Old Abe is mad," he said to Julian, " and the war 
will now go on." 

Whether it would or not remained to be seen but it was 
soon evident to everybody that the President was going to 
make another effort to have it go on for on March 8 he is- 
sued General War Orders Nos. II and III, the first dividing 
the Army of the Potomac into four army corps and the 
second directing that the move against Richmond by the way 
of the Chesapeake bay should begin as early as the 18th of 
March and that the general-in-chief should be responsible 
for its moving as early as that day. In this order Lincoln 
made the important stipulation that General McClellan 
should make no change of base without leaving in and about 
Washington a force sufficient to guarantee its safety. 

When Lincoln issued the above orders which were finally 
to drive McClellan from his quarters around Washington, 
the war against the South had been going on for nearly a 
year. In that time the North had succeeded in gathering 
and equipping an army of about 630,000 men, but this army 
had not so far materially changed the line of hostilities be- 
tween the North and South, save in the West, where Ken- 
tucky and Northern Missouri had been cleared of most of 
the Confederates. A navy had been collected but beyond es- 
tablishing a partial blockade of the ports of the Confederacy 
it had done little. The ineffectiveness of the great effort the 
North had made was charged naturally to the inefficiency of 


the Administration. Mr. Lincoln was ignorant and weak, 
men said, else he would have found generals who would have 
won victories. A large part of the North, the anti-slavery 
element, bitterly denounced him, because he had taken no 
action as yet in regard to slavery. They would have 
him employ the slaves in the armies, free those which 

Lincoln understood clearly how strong a weapon against 
the South the arming and emancipating of the slaves might 
be, but he did not want to use it. Throughout his entire po- 
litical life he had disclaimed any desire to meddle with slav- 
ery in the States where the Constitution recognized it. He 
had undertaken the war not to free men but to preserve the 
Union. Moreover he feared that the least interference with 
slavery would drive from him those States lying between 
the North and South, which believed in the institution and 
yet were for the Union. 

Already they had given him much substantial aid. He 
hoped to win them entirely to the North. Emancipation 
would surely make that hope vain. It was largely because 
he wished to keep their support that when as had happened 
twice already in his year of service, prominent subordinates 
had attempted to help the Northern cause by measures af- 
fecting slavery, he had promptly annulled their orders. 

Yet now for many weeks he had been coming to the con- 
clusion that he must do something with this weapon. He 
must do it to throw confusion into the South, with whom so 
far the military advantage lay, to win sympathy from 
Europe, which, exasperated by the suffering which the fail- 
ure to get cotton caused the people, was threatening to re- 
cognize the Southern Confederacy as an independent nation, 
above all to disarm the enemy in his rear — the dissatisfied 
faction of his own supporters who were beginning to 
threaten that if he did not free and arm the slaves he could 


get his hands on, they would stop the arms and money they 
were sending him to carry on the war. 

All through the fall of 1861 he was examining this 
weapon of emancipation, much as a man in a desperate situa- 
tion might a dagger which he did not want to unsheath, but 
feared he might be forced to. He was seeking a way to use 
it, if the time came when he must, that would accomplish all 
the ends he had in view and still would not drive the Border 
States from the Union. The plan upon which he finally set- 
tled was a simple and just, though impracticable one — he 
would ask Congress to set aside money gradually to buy and 
free the negroes in those States that could be persuaded to 
give up the institution of slavery. Having freed the slaves, 
he proposed that Congress should colonize them in territory 
bought for the purpose. 

According to Charles Sumner, Mr. Lincoln had this plan 
of compensated emancipation well developed by December 
1, 1 86 1. The Senator reached Washington on that day, and 
went in the evening to call on the President. Together they 
talked over the annual message, which was to be sent to Con- 
gress on the 3d. Mr. Sumner was disappointed that it said 
nothing about emancipation. He had been speaking in 
Massachusetts on " Emancipation our Best Weapon," and 
he ardently desired that the President use the weapon. The 
President explained the plan he had developed, and Mr. 
Sumner urged that it be presented at once. Mr. Lincoln de- 
clined to agree to this, but as he rose to say good-by to his 
visitor, he remarked : 

" Well, Mr. Sumner, the only difference between you and 
me on this subject is a difference of a month or six weeks in 

" Mr. President," said Mr. Sumner, " if that is the only 
difference between us, I will not say another word to you 
about it till the long-set time you name has passed by." 

" Nor should I have done so." continues Sumner in telling 


the story, " but about a fortnight after, when I was with him, 
he introduced the subject himself, asked my opinion on some 
details of his plan, and told me where it labored his mind. 
At that time he had the hope that some one of the Border 
States, Delaware, perhaps, if nothing better could be got, 
might be brought to make a proposition which could be made 
use of as the initiation to hitch the whole thing to. * He 
was in correspondence with some persons at a distance with 
this view, but he did not consult a person in Washington, 
excepting Mr. Chase and Mr. Blair, and myself. Seward 
knew nothing about it." 

Sumner could not keep still, after this, about the plan. Al- 
most every time he saw Lincoln he put in a word. Thus, 
when the Trent affair was up, he took occasion to read 
the President a little lecture : 

" Now, Mr. President," he said, " if you had done your 
duty earlier in the slavery matter, you would not have this 
trouble on you. Now you have no friends, or the country 
has none, because it has no policy upon slavery. The country 
has no friends in Europe, excepting isolated persons. Eng- 
land is not a friend. France is not. But if you had 
commenced your policy about slavery, this thing could and 
would have come and gone and would have given you no 
anxiety. . . . 

" Every time I saw him I spoke to him about it, and I saw 
him every two or three days. One day I said to him, I re- 
member, ' I want you to make Congress a New Year's 
present of your plan. But he had some reason still for delay. 
He was in correspondence with Kentucky, there was a Mr. 
Speed in Kentucky to whom he was writing; he read me 
one of his letters once, and he thought he should hear from 
there how people would be affected by such a plan.' At one 

*The conversation between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Sumner here re- 
ported is taken from an unpublished manuscript courteously put at my 
disposal by the Rev. Edward Everett Hale. Mr. Hale visited Washing- 
ton in April, 1862, and called on Mr. Sumner, who entertained him with 
the history of the President's Message on Compensated Emancipation. 
He made the full notes of the story, which are here published. 



time I thought he would send in the message on New Year's 
Day; and I said something about what a glorious thing it 
would be. But he stopped me in a moment; ' Don't say a 
word about that,' he said; ' I know very well that the name 
which is connected with this act will never be forgotten.' 
Well, there was one delay and another, but I always spoke to 
him till one day in January he said sadly that he had been up 
all night with his sick child. I was very much touched, and I 
resolved that I would say nothing to the President about this 
or any other business if I could help it till that child was well 
or dead. And I did not. ... I had never said a 
word to him again about it — one morning here, before I had 
breakfast, before I was up indeed, both his secretaries came 
over to say that he wanted to see me as soon as I could see 
him. I dressed at once, and went over. ' I want to read 
you my message,' he said ; ' I want to know how you like it. 
I am going to send it in to-day.' " 

It was on the morning of March 6, 1862, that Mr. Lin- 
coln sent for Mr. Sumner to read his message. A few hours 
later, when the Senator reached the Capitol, he went to the 
Senate desk to see if the President had carried out his inten- 
tion. Yes, the document was there. 

As Mr. Sumner's history of the message given to Dr. Hale 
shows, Mr. Lincoln for months quietly prepared the way for 
his plan. One of his most adroit preparatory manceuvers, 
and one of which Mr. Sumner evidently knew nothing, was 
performed in New York City, through the Hon. Carl Schurz, 
who at that time was the American Minister to Spain.* 

Mr. Schurz, who had gone to Madrid in 1861, had not 
been long there before he concluded that there would be great 
danger of the Southern Confederacy being recognized by 
France and England unless the aspect of the situation was 

*The following accounts of Mr, Schurz's interviews with Mr. Lincoln 
and the plan the two gentlemen arranged for introducing the subject of 
compensated emancipation to the public was given me by Mr. Schurz 
himself. The manuscript has been corrected by him, and is published 
with his permission. 


speedily changed, either by a decisive military success, or 
by some evidence on the part of the Administration that the 
war was to end in the destruction of slavery. If the conflict 
were put on this high moral plane, Mr. Schurz believed the 
sympathy of the people in Europe would be so strong with 
the North that interference in favor of the South would be 
impossible. All of this he wrote to Mr. Seward in Septem- 
ber of 1 86 1, but he received no reply to his letter other than a 
formal acknowledgment. 

After a little time, Mr. Schurz wrote to Mr. Lincoln, say- 
ing that he wanted to come to Washington and personally 
represent to the Administration what he conceived to be the 
true nature of public opinion in Europe. Mr. Lincoln wrote 
to him to come, and he arrived in Washington in the last 
week of January, 1862. He went at once to the White 
House, where he was received by the President, who listened 
attentively to his arguments, the same he had made by letter 
to Mr. Seward. When he had finished his presentation of 
the case, Mr. Lincoln said that he was inclined to accept that 
view, but that he was not sure that the public sentiment of 
the country was ripe for such a policy. It had to be educated 
up to it. Would not Mr. Schurz go to New York and 
talk the matter over with their friends, some of whom he 
named ? 

Mr. Schurz assented, and a few days afterwards reported 
to Mr. Lincoln that the organization of an " Emancipation 
Society," for the purpose of agitating the idea, had been 
started in New York, and that a public meeting would be 
held at the Cooper Union on March 6. 

"That's it; that is the very thing," Mr. Lincoln replied. 
" You must make a speech at this meeting. Go home and 
prepare it. When you have got it outlined, bring it to me, 
and I will see what you are going to say." 

Mr. Schurz did so. and in a few days submitted to Mr. 


Lincoln the skeleton of his argument on " Emancipation as 
a Peace Measure." 

" That is the right thing to say," the President declared 
after reading it, " And, remember, you may hear from me on 
the same day." 

On March 6 the speech was delivered, as had been ar 
ranged, before an audience which packed Cooper Union. No 
more logical and eloquent appeal for emancipation was made 
in all the war period. The audience received it with repented 
cheers, and when Mr. Schurz sat down " the applause shook 
the hall," if we may believe the reporter of the New York 
" Tribune." Just as the meeting was adjourning, Mr. 
Schurz did hear from Mr. Lincoln, a copy of the message 
given that afternoon to Congress being placed in his hands, 
He at once read it to the audience, which, already thoroughly 
aroused, now broke out again in a " tremendous burst of ap- 

The first effect of the message was to unite the radical 
supporters of Mr. Lincoln with the more moderate. " We 
are all brought by the common-sense message," said " Har- 
per's Weekly," " upon the same platform. The cannon shot 
against Fort Sumter effected three-fourths of our political 
lines; the President's message has wiped out the remaining 
fourth." But to Mr. Lincoln's keen disappointment, the 
Border State representatives in Congress let the proposition 
pass in silence. He saw one and another of them but not a 
word did they say of the message. The President stood this 
for four days, then he summoned them to the White House 
to explain his position. 

The talk was long and entirely friendly. The President 
said he did not pretend to disguise his anti-slavery feeling; 
that he thought slavery was wrong, and should continue to 
think so; but that was not the question they had to deal 
with. Slavery existed, and that, too, as well by the act of the 


AGE 52 

From photograph taken at Springfield, Illinois, early in 1861, by C. S. German, and 
owned by Allen Jasper Conant. 


North as of the South ; and in any scheme to get rid of it, 
the North as well as the South was morally bound to do its 
full and equal share. He thought the institution wrong and 
ought never to have existed ; but yet he recognized the rights 
of property which had grown out of it, and would respect 
those rights as fully as similar rights in any other property ; 
that property can exist, and does legally exist. He thought 
such a law wrong, but the rights of property resulting must 
be respected ; he would get rid of the odious law, not by vio- 
lating the right, but by encouraging the proposition, and 
offering inducements to give it up. The representatives as- 
sured Mr. Lincoln before they left that they believed him to 
be " moved by a high patriotism and sincere devotion to the 
happiness and glory of his country ; " they promised him to 
" consider respectfully " the suggestions he had made, but 
it must have been evident to the President that they either 
had little sympathy with his plan or that they believed it 
would receive no favor from their constituents. 

Although the message failed to arouse the Border States, 
it did stimulate the anti-slavery party in Congress to com- 
plete several practical measures. Acts of Congress were 
rapidly approved forbidding the army and navy to aid in the 
return of fugitive slaves, recognizing the independence of 
Liberia and Haiti, and completing a treaty with Great Brit- 
ain to suppress slave trading. One of the most interesting of 
the acts which followed close on the message of March 6 
emancipated immediately all the slaves in the District of 
Columbia. One million dollars was appropriated by Con- 
gress to pay the loyal slaveholders of the District for their 
loss, and $100,000 was set aside to pay the expenses of such 
negroes as desired to emigrate to Haiti or Liberia. 

The Administration was now committed to compensated 
emancipation, but there were many radicals who grew restive 
at the slow working of the measure. They began again to call 


for more trenchant use of the weapon in Lincoln's hand 
The commander of the Department of the South, General 
David Hunter, in his zeal, even issued an order declaring : 

Slavery and martial law in a free country are altogether 
incompatible; the persons in Georgia, Florida, 

and South Carolina heretofore held as slaves, are therefore 
declared forever free. 

Mr. Lincoln's first knowledge of this proclamation came 
to him through the newspapers. He at once pronounced it 
void. At the same time he made a declaration at which a 
man less courageous, one less confident in his own policy, 
would have hesitated — a declaration of his intention that no 
one but himself should decide how the weapon in his hand 
was to be used : 

I further make known that, whether it be competent for 
me, as commander-in-chief of the army and navy, to declare 
the slaves of any State or States free, and whether, at any 
time, in any case, it shall have become a necessity indispens- 
able to the maintenance of the government to exercise such 
supposed power, are questions which, under my responsi- 
bility, I reserve to myself, and which I cannot feel justified 
in leaving to the decision of commanders in the field. 

It was a public display of a trait of Mr. Lincoln of which 
the country had already several examples. He made his 
own decisions, trusted his own judgment as a final authority. 

In revoking Hunter's order, Mr. Lincoln again appealed 
to the Border States to accept his plan of buying and freeing 
their slaves, and as if to warn them that the unauthorized 
step which Hunter had dared to take might yet be forced 
upon the administration, he said : 

I do not argue — I beseech you to make arguments for 
yourselves. You cannot, if you would, be blind to the signs 
of the times. I beg of you a calm and enlarged considera- 


don of them, ranging, if it may be, far above personal and 
partizan politics. This proposal makes common cause for a 
common object, casting no reproaches upon any. It acts 
not the Pharisee. The change it contemplates would come 
gently as the dews of heaven, not rending or wrecking any- 
thing. Will you not embrace it? So much good has not 
been done, by one effort, in all past time, as in the provi- 
dence of God it is now your high privilege to do. May 
the vast future not have to lament that you have neglected it. 

The President's treatment of Hunter's order dissatisfied 
many who had been temporarily quieted by the message of 
March 6. Again they besought the President to emanci- 
pate and arm the slaves. The authority and magnitude of 
the demand became such that Mr. Lincoln fairly staggered 
under it. Still he would not yield. He could not give up yet 
his hope of a more peaceful and just system of emancipation. 
But while he could not do what was asked of him, he seems 
to have felt that it was possible that he was wrong, and that 
another man in his place would be able to see the way. In a 
remarkable interview held early in the summer with several 
Republican senators, among whom was the Honorable 
James Harlan, of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, the President actually 
offered to resign and let Mr. Hamlin, the Vice-President, 
initiate the policy.* 

The senators went to Mr. Lincoln to urge upon him the 
paramount importance of mustering slaves into the Union 
army. They argued that as the war was really to free the 
negro, it was only fair that he should take his part in work- 
ing out his own salvation. Mr. Lincoln listened thought- 
fully to every argument, and then replied : 

Gentlemen, I have put thousands of muskets into the 
hands of loyal citizens of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Western 

* The account of this interview was given to me by the late Hon. 
James Harlan of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and was corrected by him before 
his death. 


North Carolina. They have said they could defend them- 
selves, if they had guns. I have given them the guns. 
Now, these men do not believe in mustering in the negro. 
If I do it, these thousands of muskets will be turned against 
us. We should lose more than we should gain. 

The gentlemen urged other considerations, among them 
that it was not improbable that Europe, which was anti- 
slavery in sentiment, but yet sympathized with the notion 
of a Southern Confederacy, preferring two nations to one 
in this country, would persuade the South to free her slaves 
in consideration of recognition. After they had exhausted 
every argument, Mr. Lincoln answered them. 

" Gentlemen/' he said, " I can't do it. I can't see it as 
you do. You may be right, and I may be wrong; but I'll 
tell you what I can do ; I can resign in favor of Mr. Hamlin. 
Perhaps Mr. Hamlin could do it." 

The senators, amazed at this proposition, " which," says 
Senator Harlan, " was made with the greatest seriousness, 
and of which not one of us doubted the sincerity," hastened 
to assure the President that they could not consider such a 
step on his part ; that he stood where he could see all around 
the horizon; that he must do what he thought right; that, 
in any event, he must not resign. 

If at this juncture McClellan had given the President a 
successful campaign it is probable that the radicals would 
have been more patient with the measure for compensated 
emancipation. The Border States seeing an overthrow of the 
Confederacy imminent might have hastened to avail them- 
selves of it. But McClellan was giving the President little 
but anxiety. He had undertaken the long deferred cam- 
paign against Richmond at the beginning of April, but had 
begun by disobeying the clause of the President's order 
which instructed him to leave enough troops around Wash. 


ington to insure its safety. When he arrived in the Penin- 
sula he began to fortify his position as if he were entering on 
a defensive instead of offensive campaign, and it was only 
after repeated probing by the administration that he ad- 
vanced. Every mile of his route towards Richmond was 
made only after urgent pleas and orders from the President 
and the Secretary of War and bitter complaints and forebod- 
ings on his part. 

Mr. Lincoln's attitude towards his general-in-chief in this 
trying spring of 1862 is a most interesting study. He evi- 
dently had determined to exercise fully his power as com- 
mander-in-chief, to force McClellan into battle and to compel 
him to carry out the orders which he as chief executive gave. 
Conscious of his ignorance of military matters, and anxious 
to avoid errors, he exhausted every source of information 
on the army and its movements. Secretary Stanton him- 
self did not watch the Army of the Potomac more closely in 
this campaign than did President Lincoln. Indeed, of the 
three rooms occupied by the military telegraph office at the 
War Department, one came to be called the " President's 
room," so much time did he spend there. During a part of 
the war, this room was occupied by Mr. A. B. Chandler, now 
the President of the Postal Telegraph Union. 

" I was alone in this room/' says Mr. Chandler, " and 
as few people came there to see me, Mr. Lincoln could be 
alone. He used to say, ' I come here to escape my perse- 
cutors. Many people call and say they want to see me for 
only a minute. That means, if I can hear their story and 
grant their request in a minute, it will be enough/ My 
desk was a large one with a flat top, and intended to be occu- 
pied on both sides. Mr. Lincoln ordinarily took the chair 
opposite mine at this desk. Here he would read over the 
telegrams received for the several heads of departments, all 
of which came to this office. It was the practice to make three 


copies of all messages received, to whomsoever addressed. 
One of these was what we called a ' hard copy/ and was 
saved for the records of the War Department ; two carbon 
copies were made by stylus, on yellow tissue paper, one for 
Mr. Lincoln and one for Mr. Stanton. Mr. Lincoln's copies 
were kept in what we called the * President's drawer ' of the 
' cipher desk/ He would come in at any time of the night 
or day, and go at once to this drawer, and take out a file of 
the telegrams, and begin at the top to read them. His posi- 
tion in running over these telegrams was sometimes very 
curious. He had a habit of sitting frequently on the edge of 
his chair, with his right knee dragged down to the floor. 
I remember a curious expression of his when he got to the 
bottom of the new telegrams and began on those that he had 
read before. It was, ' Well, I guess I have got down to the 
raisins.' The first two or three times he said this he made 
no explanation, and I did not ask one. But one day, after 
the remark, he looked up under his eyebrows at me with a 
funny twinkle in his eyes, and said, * I used to know a little 
girl out West who sometimes was inclined to eat too much. 
One day she ate a good many more raisins than she ought 
to, and followed them up with a quantity of other goodies. 
It made her very sick. After a time the raisins began to 
come. She gasped and looked at her mother, and said, 
" Well, I will be better now, I guess, for I have got down to 
the raisins." ' 

" Mr. Lincoln frequently wrote telegrams in my office. 
His method of composition was slow and laborious. It was 
evident that he thought out what he was going to say before 
he touched his pen to the paper. He would sit looking out 
of the window, his left elbow on the table, his hand scratch- 
ing his temple, his lips moving, and frequently he spoke 
the sentence aloud or in a half whisper. After he was satis- 
fied that he had the proper expression, he would write it 


out. If one examines the originals of Mr. Lincoln's teie* 
grams and letters, he will find very few erasures and very 
little interlining. This was because he had them definitely 
in his mind before writing them. In this he was the exact 
opposite of Mr. Stanton, who wrote with feverish haste, 
often scratching out words, and interlining frequently. 
Sometimes he would seize a sheet which he had filled, and 
impatiently tear it into pieces." 

It is only necessary to examine the letters and telegrams 
Lincoln sent to McClellan in the campaign of 1862 to appre- 
ciate the rare patience and still rarer firmness and common- 
sense with which he was handling his hard military prob- 
lems. As has been said McClellan began his campaign by 
disobeying the order to leave Washington fully guarded. 
The President learning this kept back a corps of the army. 
McClellan protested but Lincoln would not give up the 
force. " Do you really think," he wrote McClellan, " I 
should permit the line from Richmond via Manassas Junction 
to this city to be entirely open, except what resistance could 
be presented by less than 20,000 unorganized troops ? This 
is a question which the country will not allow me to evade." 

When it became evident that McClellan did not intend 
to advance promptly the President made a vigorous protest. 

Once more let me tell you it is indispensable to you that 
you should strike a blow. I am powerless to help this. You 
will do me the justice to remember I always insisted that 
going down the bay in search of a field, instead of fighting 
at or near Manassas, was only shifting and not surmounting 
a difficulty; that we would find the same enemy and the 
same or equal intrenchments at either place. The country 
will not fail to note — is noting now — that the present hesi- 
tation to move upon an intrenched enemy is but the story of 
Manassas repeated. 

I beg to assure you that I have never written you or 
spoken to you in greater kindness of feeling than now, nor 


with a fuller purpose to sustain you, so far as in my most 

anxious judgment I consistently can; but you must act. 

McClellan did act but with such caution that he consumed 
all of April and most of May in working his way up the 
Peninsula to Richmond. Every move he made was under 
protest that his force was too small and with incessant com- 
plaint that the administration was not supporting him. To- 
wards the end of May when an extra corps, that of Mc- 
Dowell, was on its way to Richmond to co-operate with 
McClellan the administration became alarmed by a threat- 
ened attack on Washington and recalled McDowell. The 
most intelligent military authorities criticise Mr. Lincoln for 
withdrawing this force just as the attack on the Confeder- 
ates was at last to be made. It was an honest enough error 
on the President's part. He believed the capital in danger. 
— He knew too that with 98,000 men present for duty Mc- 
Clellan ought to be able to take care of himself. The gen- 
eral-in-chief, however, regarded this interference with his 
plans as added proof that the President did not intend to 
support him, wished his overthrow, and he sent the bitterest 
complaints to Washington. The President wrote him on 
May 25 full explanations of the situation as he saw it, and 
begged him to go ahead and do his best. 

" If McDowell's force was now beyond our reach," he 
said, " we should be utterly helpless. Apprehension of some- 
thing like this, and no unwillingness to sustain you, has 
always been my reason for withholding McDowell's force 
from you. Please understand this, and do the best you can 
with the force you have." 

Three days later, after the righting for Richmond had 
really begun, he telegraphed him, " I am painfully impressed 
with the importance of the struggle before you, and shau 
aid you all I can consistently with my view of due regard tc« 
all points." 


And through the month following while McClellan *»as 
engaged in the series of battles by which he hoped to get 
into Richmond the President did sustain him in every way 
he could, sending him troops as he could get them, counsel- 
ling him whenever he saw a weak point, encouraging him 
after every engagement. The result of the campaign was 
disastrous. After working his way to within a few miles 
of Richmond McClellan was forced back to the James 
River, and in a burst of bitter despair he telegraphed tc 
Washington : 

If, at this instant I could dispose of ten thousand fresh 
men, I could gain a victory to-morrow. I know that a few 
thousand more men would have changed this battle from 
a defeat to a victory. As it is, the Government must not and 
cannot hold me responsible for the result. I feel too ear- 
nestly to-night; I have seen too many dead and wounded 
comrades to feel otherwise than that the Government has 
not sustained this army. If you do not do so now, the game 
is lost. If I save this army now, I tell you plainly that I owe 
no thanks to you or to any person in Washington. You 
have done your best to sacrifice this army. 

" Save your army at all events," Lincoln replied. " Will 
send re-enforcements as fast as we can. Of course they can- 
not reach you to-day, to-morrow, or next day. I have not 
said you were ungenerous for saying you needed re-enforce- 
ments. I thought you were ungenerous in assuming that I 
did not send them as fast as I could. I feel any misfortune 
to you and your army quite as keenly as you feel it yourself. 
If you have had a drawn battle, or a repulse, it is the price we 
pay for the enemy not being in Washington. We protected 
Washington, and the enemy concentrated on you. Had we 
stripped Washington, he would have been upon us before the 
troops could have gotten to you. Less than a week ago you 
notified us that re-enforcements were leaving Richmond to 
come in front of us. It is the nature of the case, and neither 
you nor the Government are to blame. Please tell at once 
the present condition and aspect of things." 


This was June 28. Mr. Lincoln hoped that McClellan 
might yet recover his position, but the developments of the 
next two days showed him the campaign was a failure. It 
was a terrible blow. " When the Peninsula campaign ter- 
minated suddenly at Harrison's Landing," Mr. Lincoln said 
once to a friend who asked him if he had ever despaired of 
his country, "I was as nearly inconsolable as I could be 
and live." 

But he neither faltered nor blamed. He bade McClellan 
" find a place of security and wait and rest and repair," 
to maintain his ground if he could but to save his army even 
if he fell back to Fort Monroe. And he went to work to 
bring light into about as black a situation as a President ever 
faced. His first duty was to ask men of the sorrowing and 
angry country. The War Department had felt so certain in 
April when McClellan started on the Peninsula campaign 
that it had force enough to finish the war that recruiting 
had been stopped. Now a new call was made for 300,000 
men for three years. 

In order to learn the situation of the Army of the Poto- 
mac more exactly than he could from McClellan's de- 
spairing and often contradictory letters and telegrams, the 
President himself went to Harrison's Landing in July. The 
first and important result of his visit was that it fixed his 
determination to do something immediately about emancipa- 
tion. He was convinced that he was not going to have any 
military encouragement very soon to offer to his supporters. 
But he must show them some fruits of their efforts, some 
sign that the men and money they were pouring into " Mc- 
Clellan's trap," as it was beginning to be called, were not 
lost; that the new call for 300,000 men just made was not 
to be in vain. There was nothing to do but use emancipa- 
tion in some way as a weapon, and he summoned the repre- 
sentatives of the Border States to the White House on July 


12, and made an earnest, almost passionate, appeal to them 
to consider his proposition of March 6. 

It is doubtful if Mr. Lincoln in all his political career 
ever had a measure more at heart than his scheme for com- 
pensated emancipation. Isaac Arnold, who knew him well, 
says that rarely, if ever, was he known to manifest such 
solicitude as over this measure. 

" Oh, how I wish the Border States would accept my 
proposition," he said to Arnold and Owen Lovejoy one 
day; " then you, Lovejoy, and you, Arnold, and all of us 
would not have lived in vain. The labor of your life, Love- 
joy, would be crowned with success. You would live to see 
the end of slavery." 

" Could you have seen the President," wrote Sumner once 
to a friend, " as it was my privilege often — -while he was 
considering the great questions on which he has already 
acted — the invitation to emancipation in the States, emanci- 
pation in the District of Columbia, and the acknowledg- 
ment of the independence of Haiti and Liberia, even your 
zeal would have been satisfied. 

" His whole soul was occupied, especially by the -first 
proposition, which was peculiarly his own. In familiar in- 
tercourse with him, I remember nothing more touching than 
the earnestness and completeness with which he embraced 
this idea. To his mind it was just and beneficent, while it 
promised the sure end of slavery." 

His address to the Border States representatives on July 
12 is full of this conviction : 

" I intend no reproach or complaint," he said, " when I as- 
sure you that, in my opinion, if you all had voted for the 
resolution in the gradual-emancipation message of last 
March, the war would now be substantially ended. And the 
plan therein proposed is yet one of the most potent and swift 
means of ending it. Let the States which are in rebellion 
see definitely and certainly that in no event will the States 
you represent ever join their proposed confederacy, and they 


cannot much longer maintain the contest. But you cannot 
divest them of their hope to ultimately have you with them 
so long as you show a determination to perpetuate the in- 
stitution within your own States. Beat them at elections, 
as you have overwhelmingly done, and, nothing daunted, 
they still claim you as their own. You and I know what the 
lever of their power is. Break that lever before their faces, 
and they can shake you no more forever. * * * If 
the war continues long, as it must if the object be not sooner 
attained, the institution in your States will be extinguished 
by mere friction and abrasion — by the mere incidents of 
the war. It will be gone, and you will have nothing valuable 
in lieu of it. Much of its value is gone already. How much 
better for you and for your people to take the step which at 
once shortens the war and secures substantial compensa- 
tion for that which is sure to be wholly lost in any other 
event! * * * 

" I am pressed with a difficulty not yet mentioned — one 
which threatens division among those who, united, are none 
too strong. An instance of it is known to you. General 
Hunter is an honest man. He was, and I hope still is, my 
friend. I valued him none the less for his agreeing with me 
in the general wish that all men everywhere could be free. 
He proclaimed all men free within certain States, and I re- 
pudiated the proclamation. He expected more good and less 
harm from the measure than I could believe would follow. 
Yet, in repudiating it, I gave dissatisfaction, if not offense, 
to many whose support the country cannot afford to lose. 
And this is not the end of it. The pressure in this direction 
is still upon me, and is increasing. By conceding what I 
now ask, you can relieve me, and, much more, can relieve 
the country, in this important point. * * * Our 
common country is in great peril, demanding the loftiest 
views and boldest action to bring it speedy relief. Once re- 
lieved, its form of government is saved to the world, its be- 
loved history and cherished memories are vindicated, and 
its happy future fully assured and rendered inconceivably 
grand. To you, more than to any others, the privilege is 
given to assure that happiness and swell that grandeur, and 
to link your own names therewith forever." 


The majority of the Border States representatives re- 
jected the President's appeal. Now Mr. Lincoln never came 
to a point in his public career where he did not have a card 
in reserve, and he never lacked the courage to play it if he 
was forced to. " I must save this government if possible," 
he said, now that his best efforts for compensated emancipa- 
tion were vain. "' What I cannot do, of course I will not do ; 
but it may as well be understood, once for all, that I shall 
not surrender this game leaving any available card un- 
played." Just what his " available card " was he hinted to 
Secretary Seward and Secretary Welles the very day after 
his interview with the Border State representatives. He had 
about come to the conclusion, he said, that he must free the 
slaves by proclamation or be himself subdued. " It was a 
new departure for the President," writes Welles in his 
Diary, " for until this time, in all our previous interviews 
whenever the question of emancipation or the mitigation of 
slavery had been in any way alluded to, he had been prompt 
and emphatic in denouncing any interference by the General 
Government with the institution." 

It was probably very shortly after this that a curious in- 
terview took place between Mr. Lincoln and his old and inti- 
mate friend, Leonard Swett, which shows admirably the 
struggle in the President's mind. The story of this inter- 
view Mr. Swett used to tell often to his friends, and it is 
through the courtesy of one of them, the Hon. Peter Stenger 
Grosscup, United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Ju- 
dicial Circuit, that it is given here : 

One day, during the course of the war, when Mr. Swett 
was at his home in Bloomington, Illinois, he received a tele- 
gram asking him to come immediately to the President. 
The second morning afterwards found him in Washington. 
Thinking that something unusual was at hand, he went to 
the White House upon arrival and before eating his break- 


fast. Mr. Lincoln asked him immediately into the cabinet 
room, and after making a few inquiries about mutual friends 
in Illinois, pulled up his chair to a little cabinet of drawers. 
Swett, of course, awaited in silence the developments. Open- 
ing a drawer, Lincoln took out a manuscript which, he said, 
was a letter from William Lloyd Garrison, and which he 
proceeded to read. It proved to be an eloquent and pas- 
sionate appeal for the immediate emancipation of the slaves. 
It recalled the devotion and loyalty of the North, but pointed 
out, with something like peremptoriness, that unless some 
step was taken to cut out by the roots the institution of slav- 
ery, the expectations of the North would be disappointed 
and its ardor correspondingly cooled. It went into the moral 
wrong that lay at the bottom of the war, and insisted that 
the war could not, in the nature of things, be ended until the 
wrong was at an end. The letter throughout was entirely 
characteristic of Garrison. 

Laying it back without comment, Mr. Lincoln took out 
another, which proved to be a letter from Garrett Davis, of 
Kentucky. It, too, treated of emancipation; but from the 
Border State point of view. It carefully balanced the mar- 
tial and moral forces of the North and South, and pointed 
out that if the Border States, now divided almost equally 
between the belligerents, were thrown unitedly to the South, 
a conclusion of the war favorable to the North would be 
next to impossible. It then proceeded to recall that slavery 
was an institution of these Border States with which their 
people had grown familiar and upon which much of their 
prosperity was founded. Emancipation, especially emanci- 
pation without compensation, would, in that quarter of the 
country, be looked upon as a stab at prosperity and a depart- 
ure from the original Union purposes of the war. It beg- 
ged Mr. Lincoln to be led by the Northern abolition senti- 
ment into no such irretrievable mistake. 

Laying this back, Mr. Lincoln took out another, which 
turned out to be from a then prominent Swiss statesman, 
a sympathizer with the Northern cause, but whose name I 
cannot recall. It breathed all through an ardent wish that 
the North should succeed. The writer's purpose was to call 
attention to the foreign situation and the importance of pre- 


venting foreign intervention. This he summed up as fol- 
lows: The governing classes in England and Napoleon in 
France were favorable to the success of the Confederacy. 
They were looking for a pretext upon which to base some sort 
of intervention. Anything that, in international law, would 
justify intervention would be quickly utilized. A situation 
justifying such a pretext must be avoided. The writer then 
pointed out that from the earliest times any interference with 
the enemy's slaves had been regarded as a cruel and improper 
expedient; that emancipation would be represented to 
Europe as an equivalent of inciting slave insurrection; and 
would be seized upon, the writer feared, as a pretext upon 
which forcibly to intervene. The letter went over the whole 
foreign situation, bringing out clearly this phase of the con- 
sequences of emancipation. 

Laying this letter back, the President turned to Mr. Swett, 
and without a word of inquiry, took up himself the subject 
of emancipation, not only in the phases pointed out by the 
letters just read, but every possible phase and consequence 
under which it could be considered. For more than an hour 
he debated the situation, first the one side and then the 
other of every question arising. His manner did not indi- 
cate that he wished to impress his views upon his hearer, 
but rather to weigh and examine them for his own enlight- 
enment in the presence of his hearer. It was an instance of 
stating conclusions aloud, not that they might convince an- 
other, or be combatted by him, but that the speaker might see 
for himself how they looked when taken out of the region 
of mere reflection and embodied in words. The President's 
deliverance was so judicial, and so free from the quality of 
debate, or appearance of a wish to convince, that Mr. Swett 
felt himself to be, not so much a hearer of Lincoln's views, 
as a witness of the President's mental operations. The 
President was simply framing his thought in words, under 
the eye of his friend, that he might clear up his own mind. 

When the President concluded, he asked for no comment, 
and made no inquiry, but rising, expressed his hope that Mr. 
Swett would get home safely, and entrusted to him some 
messages to their mutual friends. The audience thus 


Mr. Lincoln had, no doubt, determined at this time on 
the Emancipation Proclamation, perhaps had in his drawer, 
with the letters he read to Mr. Swett, the original draft 
which, as he afterwards told Mr. F. B. Carpenter, he pre- 
pared " without consultation with or the knowledge of the 
cabinet." It was on July 22 that, " after much anxious 
thought," he called a cabinet meeting to consider the sub- 

" I said to the cabinet," the President told Mr. Carpenter, 
" that I had resolved upon this step, and had not called them 
together to ask their advice, but to lay the subject matter of 
a proclamation before them ; suggestions as to which would 
be in order, after they had heard it read." 

The gist of the proclamation which Mr. Lincoln read to 
the cabinet was that, on the first day of January, 1863, all 
persons held as slaves within any State or States wherein 
the constitutional authority of the United States should not 
then be practically recognized, should " then, thenceforward, 
and forever be free." He called his proclamation " a fit 
and necessary military measure," and prefaced it by declar- 
ing that, upon the next meeting of Congress, he intended to 
recommend a practical plan for giving pecuniary aid to any 
State which by that time had adopted " gradual abolish- 
ment of slavery." 

The cabinet seems to have been bewildered by the sweep- 
ing proposition of the President. Nicolay and Hay quote 
a memorandum of the meeting made by Secretary Stanton, 
in which he says: "'The measure goes beyond anything I 
have recommended." Mr. Lincoln, in his account of the 
meeting given to Mr. Carpenter, says : 

Various suggestions were offered. . . . Noth* 
ing, however, was offered that I had not already fully an* 


President Lincoln 


From the original painting by F. B. Carpenter 

The original was painted in the state dining-room of the White House between February 5 
and August 1, 1864, under the eye and with the kindly help of President Lincoln. Accord- 
ing to a letter of Secretary Chase to Mr. Carpenter, "Mr. Lincoln, before reading his manu- 
script of the proclamation, said, in substance : 'I have considered everything that has been 
said to me about the expediency of emancipation, and have made up my mind to issue this 
proclamation, and I have invited you to come together, not to discuss what is to be done, 
but to have you hear what I have written and to get your suggestions about form and style 
adding • 'I have thought it all over, and have made a promise that this should be done to 
mvself and to God ''' Secretary Chase adds: "The picture well represents that moment 
whfch toflowe°d the reading of the proclamation. It puts the two m embers ^o thoroughly 
advised and heartilv believed in the measure on the right of Mr. Lincoln , the others (who, 
though Tthey alllcquiesced, and Mr. Seward, who, particularly made important suggestions, 
had hitherto doubted or advised delay or even opposed) on the ielt. 





now in the Capitol at Washington. 

A*rS?°u itS com ^ tio ^ the painting was exhibited for two days in the East Room of the 
White House. After having been exhibited through the country, it was purchased by Mrs. 
Elizabeth Thompson, of New York, and presented to the re-United States, Congress unani- 
mously accepting the gift and voting Mrs. Thompson the "thanks of Congress," the highest 
iQ7Q r ^ eve r i paid a woman in our country, and setting apart Lincoln's birthday, February 12 
1878, lor the acceptance of the painting. On that day both houses of Congress adjourned 
in nonor ol the celebration ; the painting was elevated over the chair of the Speaker of the 
Mouse oi Representatives ; Garfield, then a member of Congress, made the speech of presen- 
tation on behalf of Mrs. Thompson, while the Hon. Alexander Stephens, former vice-presi- 
dent ot the Confederacy, who m a famous speech at the beginning of the war, had declared, 
Slavery is the cornerstone of the new Confederacy," made the speech accepting, on behalf 
01 congress, this painting which commemorates the abolition of slavery 


ticipated and settled in my own mind, until Secretary Sew- 
ard spoke. He said in substance : " Mr. President, I ap- 
prove of the proclamation, but I question the expediency 
of its issue at this juncture. The depression of the public 
mind, consequent upon our repeated reverses, is so great that 
I fear the effect of so important a step. It may be viewed as 
the last measure of an exhausted government, a cry for help ; 
the government stretching forth its hands to Ethiopia, in- 
stead of Ethiopia stretching forth her hands to the govern- 
ment." His idea was that it would be considered our last 
shriek, on the retreat. " Now," continued Mr. Seward, 
" while I approve the measure, I suggest, sir, that you post- 
pone its issue, until you can give it to the country, supported 
by military success, instead of issuing it, as would be the 
case now, upon the greatest disasters of the war ! " Thfe 
wisdom of the view of the Secretary of State struck me with 
very great force. It was an aspect of the case that, in all my 
thoughts upon the subject, I had entirely overlooked. The 
result was that I put the draft of the proclamation aside, as 
you do your sketch for a picture, waiting for a victory. From 
time to time I added or changed a line, touching it up he/e 
and there, anxiously waiting the progress of events. 

The victory Mr. Lincoln waited for was long in coming. 
Disaster after disaster followed. Each new delay or failure 
only intensified the radical anti-slavery sentiment, and made 
the demand for emancipation more emphatic and threaten- 
ing. The culmination of this dissatisfaction was an editorial 
signed by Horace Greeley, and printed in the New York 
" Tribune " of August 20, entitled, " The Prayer of 20,- 
000,000 " — two columns of bitter and unjust accusations 
and complaints addressed to Mr. Lincoln, charging him with 
" ignoring, disregarding, and defying " the laws already 
enacted against slavery. 

Mr. Lincoln answered it in a letter published in the " Na- 
tional Intelligencer " of Washington, August 23. The 
document challenges comparison with the State papers of 
all times and all countries for Its lucidity and its courage : 


" As to the policy I ' seem to be pursuing,' as you say, I 
have not meant to leave any one in doubt. 

" I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest 
way under the Constitution. The sooner the national au- 
thority can be restored, the nearer the Union will be * the 
Union as it was.' If there be those who would not save the 
Union unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do 
not agree with them. If there be those who would not save 
the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, 
I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this strug- 
gle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to de- 
stroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any 
slave, I would do it ; and if I could save it by freeing all the 
slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some 
and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do 
about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it 
helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear be- 
cause I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I 
shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts 
the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing 
more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when 
shown to be errors, and I shall adopt new views so fast as 
they shall appear to be true views. 

The " Greeley faction," as it was called, not only pursued 
Mr. Lincoln through the press and pulpit and platform; an 
unending procession of radical committees and delegations 
waited upon him. Although he was at that time, by his own 
statement, adding or changing a line of the proclamation, 
" touching it up here and there," he seems almost invariably 
to have argued against emancipation with those who came to 
plead for it. 

It was only his way of making his own judgment surer. 
He was not only examining every possible reason for eman- 
cipation; he was steadily seeking reasons against it. Per- 
haps the best illustration preserved to us of this intellectual 
method of Lincoln is his argument to a committee from the 


religious denominations of Chicago, who came to him on 
September 13: 

" What good would a proclamation of emancipation from 
me do, especially as we are now situated ? I do not want to 
issue a document that the whole world will see must neces- 
sarily be inoperative, like the Pope's bull against the comet. 
Would my word free the slaves, when I cannot even enforce 
the Constitution in the rebel States ? Is there a single court, 
or magistrate, or individual that would be influenced by it 
there? And what reason is there to think it would have 
any greater effect upon the slaves than the late law of Con- 
gress, which I approved, and which offers protection and 
freedom to the slaves of rebel masters who come within our 
lines ? Yet I cannot learn that that law has caused a single 
slave to come over to us. And suppose they could be in- 
duced by a proclamation of freedom from me to throw 
themselves upon us, what should we do with them? How 
can we feed and care for such a multitude? * * If wq 
were to arm them, I fear that in a few weeks the arms would 
be in the hands of the rebels ; and, indeed, thus far we have 
not had arms enough to equip our white troops. I will men- 
tion another thing, though it meets only your scorn and 
contempt. There are fifty thousand bayonets in the Union 
armies from the border slave States. It would be a serious 
matter if, in consequence of a proclamation such as you de- 
sire, they should go over to the rebels. ,, 

The letter to Greeley, the passages quoted above, show 
how the President was wrestling with the question. There 
is every indication indeed that an incessant struggle against 
violent emancipation went on in his mind through the whole 
period. He regarded it as the act of a dictator. He feared 
it might be fruitless. He dreaded the injury it would do the 
loyal people of the South. He said once to a friend, that 
he had prayed to the Almighty to save him from the neces- 
sity of it, adopting the very language of Christ, " If it be 
possible, let this cup pass from me." In talking to the 


Chicago delegations, who argued that it was God's will that 
he issue a proclamation, he said : 

" I hope it will not be irreverent for me to say that if it 
is probable that God would reveal His will to others on a 
point so connected with my duty, it might be supposed He 
would reveal it directly to me; for unless I am more de- 
ceived in myself than I often am, it is my earnest desire to 
know the will of Providence in this matter. And if I can 
learn what it is, I will do it. These are not, however, the 
days of miracles, and I suppose it will be granted that I am 
not to expect a direct revelation. I must study the plain 
physical facts of the case, ascertain what is possible, and 
learn what appears to be wise and right." 

The victory for which the President waited came on Sep- 
tember 17. McClellan had followed Lee into Maryland, 
and defeated him. The President was at his summer house 
at the Soldier's Home when the news of Antietam reached 
him. He at once finished the second draft of the Emancipa- 
tion Proclamation, and called the cabinet together on Mon- 
day, September 22. Secretary Chase recorded in his diary, 
that day, how, after reading his colleagues a chapter from 
Artemus Ward, the President " took a graver tone." The 
words he spoke, as recorded by Mr. Chase, are a remarkable 
revelation of the man's feelings at the moment : 

I have, as you are aware, thought a great deal about the 
relation of this war to slavery ; and you all remember that, 
several weeks ago, I read to you an order I had prepared on 
this subject, which, on account of objections made by some 
of you, was not issued. Ever since then my mind has been 
much occupied with this subject, and I have thought, all 
along, that the time for acting on it might probably come. 
I think the time has come now. I wish it was a better time. 
I wish that we were in a better condition. The action of 
the army against the rebels has not been quite what I should 
have best liked. But they have been driven out of Maryland, 


and Pennsylvania is no longer in danger of invasion. When 
the rebel army was at Frederick, I determined, as soon as 
it should be driven out of Maryland, to issue a proclama- 
tion of emancipation, such as I thought m( st likely to be 
useful. I said nothing to any one, but I made the promise 
to myself and [hesitating a little] to my Maker. The rebel 
army is now driven out, and I am going to fulfil that prom- 
ise. I have got you together to hear what I have written 
down. I do not wish your advice about the main matter, for 
that I have determined for myself. This, I say without in- 
tending anything but respect for any one of you. But I al- 
ready know the views of each on this question. They have 
been heretofore expressed, and I have considered them as 
thoroughly and carefully as I can. What I have written is 
that which my reflections have determined me to say. If 
there is anything in the expressions I use, or in any minor 
matter, which any of you thinks had best be changed, I shall 
be glad to receive the suggestions. One other observation 
I will make. I know very well that many others might, in 
this matter as in others, do better than I can ; and if I was 
satisfied that the public confidence was more fully possessed 
by any one of them than by me, and knew of any constitu- 
tional way in which he could be put in my place, he should 
have it. I would gladly yield it to him. But, though I believe 
that I have not so much of the confidence of the people as I 
had some time since, I do not know that, all things consid- 
ered, any other person has more ; and, however this may be, 
there is no way in which I can have any other man put where 
I am. I am here ; I must do the best I can, and bear the re- 
sponsibility of taking the course which I feel I ought to take. 

The proclamation appeared in the newspapers of the fol- 
lowing morning. One substantial addition had been made 
to the document since July 22. It now declared that the 
Government of the United States would '" recognize and 
maintain " the freedom of the persons set at liberty. 

There was no exultation in the President's mind ; indeed 
there was almost a groan in the words which, the night 
after he had given it out, he addressed to a party of sere- 


naders, " I can only trust in God that I have made no 
mistake." The events of the fall brought him little en- 
couragement. Indeed, the promise of emancipation seemed 
to effect nothing but discontent and uneasiness ; stocks went 
down, troops fell off. In five great States — Indiana, Illinois, 
Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York — the elections went 
against him. Little but menaces came from Europe. Many 
said that the President would not dare, in the face of the un- 
rest of the country, fulfil his promise, and issue the procla- 
mation. But when Congress opened on December i, he 
did submit the proclamation, together with the plan for 
compensated emancipation which he had worked out. Over 
one-half of the message, in fact, was given to this plan. 

Mr. Lincoln pleaded with Congress for his measure as 
he had never pleaded before. He argued that it would " end 
the struggle and save the Union forever," that it would 
" cost no blood at all," that Congress could do it if they 
would unite with the executive, that the " good people " 
would respond and support it if appealed to. 

" It is not," he said, " 'Can any of us imagine better?' 
but,' Can we all do better? ' Object whatsoever is possible, 
still the question occurs, ' Can we do better ? ' The dogmas 
of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The 
occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with 
the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew 
and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we 
shall save our country. 

" Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this 
Congress and this Administration will be remembered in 
spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignifi- 
cance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through 
which we pass will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to 
the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The 
world will not forget that we say this. We know how to 
save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save 
it. We — even we here — hold the nower **id bear the re- 


sponsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure free- 
dom to the free — honorable alike in what we give and what 
we preserve. We shall nobly save or meanly lose the last, 
best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could 
not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just — a way 
which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God 
must forever bless.' ' 

As the 1st of January drew near, many friends of the 
proclamation doubted that Mr. Lincoln would keep his 
promise. Among these was the Rev. Byron Sunderland, 
of Washington, at that time chaplain of the Senate and one 
of the most aggressively loyal ministers in the city. Dr. 
Sunderland feared that there was truth in the rumor that the 
President would withdraw, not issue, the proclamation on 
the 1st of January, and on the Sunday before the New Year 
he preached a sermon on the subject. Mr. Z. S. Robbins, of 
Washington, a friend of Mr. Lincoln, asked Dr. Sunderland 
to go with him to the President and urge him to keep his 

" We were ushered into the cabinet room," says Dr. Sun- 
derland. " It was very dim, but one gas-jet burning. As 
we entered, Mr. Lincoln was standing at the farther end of 
the long table which filled the middle of the room. As I 
stood by the door, I am so very short, that I was obliged to 
look up to see the President. Mr. Robbins introduced me, 
and I began at once by saying : * I have come, Mr. President, 
to anticipate the New Year with my respects, and if I may, 
to say to you a word about the serious condition of this 

" * Go ahead, Doctor/ replied the President ; ' every little 
helps.' But I was too much in earnest to laugh at his sally 
at my smallness. * Mr. President/ I continued, * they say 
that you are not going to keep your promise to give us the 
Emancipation Proclamation; that it is your intention to 
withdraw it/ 


" ' Well, Doctor,' said Mr. Lincoln, ' you know Peter was 
going to do it, but when the time came he didn't.' 

" '' Mr. President,' I continued, ' I have been studying 
Peter. He did not deny his Master until after his Master 
rebuked him in the presence of the enemy. You have a mas- 
ter, too, Mr. Lincoln, the American people. Don't deny 
your master until he has rebuked you before all the world.' 

" My earnestness seemed to interest the President, and 
his whole tone changed immediately. ' Sit down, Doctor 
Sunderland,' he said ; ' let us talk.' 

" We seated ourselves in the room, and for a moment the 
President was silent, his elbow resting on the table, his big, 
gnarled hands closed over his forehead. Then looking up 
gravely at me, he began to speak : 

" ' Doctor, if it had been left to you and me, there would 
have been no war. If it had been left to you and me, there 
would have been no cause for this war ; but it was not left to 
us. God has allowed men to make slaves of their fellows. 
He permits this war. He has before Him a strange specta- 
cle. We, on our side, are praying Him to give us victory, 
because we believe we are right ; but those on the other side 
pray Him, too, for victory, believing they are right. What 
must He think of us ? And what is coming from the strug- 
gle? What will be the effect of it all on the whites and on 
the negroes?' And then suddenly a ripple of amusement 
broke the solemn tone of his voice. ' As for the negroes, 
Doctor, and what is going to become of them : I told Ben 
Wade the other day, that it made me think of a story I read 
in one of my first books, " ^Esop's Fables." It was an old 
edition, and had curious rough wood-cuts, one of which 
showed four white men scrubbing a negro in a potash kettle 
filled with cold water. The text explained that the men 
thought that by scrubbing the negro they might make him 
white. Just about the time they thought they were succeed- 
ing, he took cold and died. Now, I am afraid that by the 
time we get through this war the negro will catch cold and 

" The laugh had hardly died away before he resumed his 
grave tone, and for half an hour he discussed the question of 
emancipation. He stated it in every light, putting his points 


so clearly that each statement was an argument. He showed 
the fullest appreciation of every side. It was like a talk of 
one of the old prophets. And though he did not tell me at 
the end whether the proclamation would be issued or not, I 
went home comforted and uplifted, and I believed in Abra- 
ham Lincoln from that day." 

Mr. Lincoln had no idea of withdrawing the proclama- 
tion. On December 30, he read the document to his cabi- 
net, and asked the members to take copies home and give 
him their criticisms. The next day at cabinet meeting these 
criticisms and suggestions were presented by the different 
members. Mr. Lincoln took them all to his office, where, 
during that afternoon and the morning of January 1, 1863, 
he rewrote the document. He was called from it at eleven 
o'clock to go to the East Room and begin the customary 
New Year's handshaking. It was the middle of the after- 
noon before he was free and back in the executive chamber, 
where the Emancipation Proclamation, which in the inter- 
val had been duly engrossed at the State Department and 
brought to the White House by Secretary Seward and his 
son, was waiting his signature. 

' They found the President alone in his room,'* writes 
Frederick Seward. " The broad sheet was spread out be- 
fore him on the cabinet table. Mr. Lincoln dipped his pen in 
the ink, and then, holding it a moment above the paper, 
seemed to hesitate. Looking around, he said : 

" ' I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing 
right, than I do in signing this paper. But I have been re- 
ceiving calls, and shaking hands since nine [eleven?] o'clock 
this morning, till my arm is stiff and numb. Now, this sig- 
nature is one that will be closely examined, and if they find 
my hand trembled, they will say " he had some compunc- 
tions." But, any way, it is going to be done! ' 

" So saying, he slowly and carefully wrote his name at the 
bottom of the proclamation." 


At last the Emancipation Proclamation was a fact. But 
there was little rejoicing in the heart of the man who had 
framed and given it to the world. In issuing it, all he had 
dared hope was that in the long run it would give greater 
gain than loss. He was not confident that this would be so« 
but he was willing to risk it. " Hope and fear and doubt con- 
tended over the new policy in uncertain conflict," he said 
months later. As he had foreseen, dark days followed. 
There were mutinies in the army; there was ridicule; there 
was a long interval of waiting for results. Nothing but the 
greatest care in enforcing the proclamation could make it 
a greater good than evil, and Mr. Lincoln now turned all his 
energies to this new task. " We are like whalers," he said 
one day, u who have been long on a chase ; we have at last 
got the harpoon into the monster, but we must now look how 
we steer, or with one ' flop ' of his tail he will send us all into 

Lincoln's search for a general 

The failure of McClellan in the Peninsular Campaign not 
only forced the emancipation proclamation from Lincoln, it 
set him to working on a fresh set of military problems. The 
most important of these was a search for a competent gen- 
eral-in-chief for the armies of the United States. As has 
already been noted General McClellan had been appointed 
general-in-chief in July, 1861, after the first battle of Bull 
Run. A few months' experience had demonstrated to the 
Administration that able as McClellan was in forming an 
army and inspiring his soldiers, he lacked the ability to di- 
rect a great concerted movement extending over so long a 
line as that from the Mississippi to the Atlantic. In March 
when he took the field at the head of the Army of the 
Potomac the President relieved him from the command of 
all military departments except that of the Department oi 
the Potomac. From March to July, 1862, Lincoln had no 
general-in-chief. He felt so keenly his need of an ex- 
perienced military counsellor that towards the end of June 
he made a hurried and secret visit to General Scott, who 
since he had been superseded by McClellan had been in re- 

One result of his visit to McClellan at Harrison's Landing 
in July was to fix Lincoln's determination to have in Wash- 
ington a general-in-chief of all the armies who could supple- 
ment his own meagre knowledge of military matters, and 
who could aid him in forming judgments. He knew that in 
the campaign against Richmond he had, at more than one 



critical moment, made decisions which were contrary to Mc- 
Clellan's plans. He knew that McClellan claimed that these 
decisions had caused his failure. He had acted to the best of 
his judgment in every case, but he undoubtedly felt the dan- 
ger in a civilian's taking such a responsibility. He wanted a 
man at his side whom he believed was wiser than he in these 
matters. So far the war had brought out but one man who 
seemed to him at all fit for this work, Major-General H. W. 
Halleck, the commander of the Department of the Missis- 
sippi. On his return to Washington from his visit to Mc- 
Clellan, almost the first act of the President was to summon 
Halleck to Washington as general-in-chief. Halleck was a 
West Point man highly regarded by General Scott, who 
had been appointed to take charge of the Department of the 
West after Fremont's failure there. He had shown such 
vigor in his field in the winter of 1 86 1 -'62, that in March, 
when McClellan was relieved of the position of general-in- 
chief, a new department including all the Mississippi region 
west of Knoxville, Tennessee, was given to Halleck. Since 
that time he had succeeded in opening the Mississippi with 
the aid of the gunboats as far south as Memphis. 

Halleck was appointed on July 1 1 , and soon after his ar- 
rival in Washington he went to Harrison's Landing to look 
over McClellan's situation. He found McClellan determined 
to make another attack on Richmond after he received re- 
enforcements. Halleck disapproved of the idea. He be- 
lieved that McClellan should return to the Potomac and 
unite with the new army of Virginia which had just been 
formed of the troops around Washington and placed under 
the direction of General John Pope, another product of the 
Mississippi campaign, from whom the President hoped 
great things. 

McClellan persistently fought this plan and his removal 
was seriously discussed at this time. The great body of the 


republican party indeed demanded it. Many did not hesi- 
tate to say that McClellan was a traitor only waiting the 
proper opportunity to surrender his army to the enemy — an 
accusation which never had other foundation than McClel- 
lan's obstinacy and procrastination. Lincoln would not re- 
lieve him. He believed him loyal. He knew that no man 
could be better loved by his soldiers or more capable 
of putting an army into form. He had no one to put 
in his place. There was a political reason, too; McClellan 
was a Democrat. The party took his view of the disastrous 
Peninsular campaign — that Mr. Lincoln had not supported 
him. To remove him was to arouse bitter Democratic oppo- 
sition and so to decrease the support of the Union cause and 
at this juncture to hold as solid a North as possible to the 
war was quite as imperative as to win a battle. 

Lincoln would not relieve McClellan, but he sanctioned 
the plan for a change of base from the James to the Potomac 
and early in August, McClellan was ordered to move his 
army. He continued to struggle against the movement, be- 
lieving he could, if re-enforced, capture Richmond, and when 
forced to yield he had made the movement with delay and ill- 
humor. The withdrawal of McClellan freed Lee's army, and 
the Confederate general marched quickly northward against 
the Army of Virginia under General Pope. On August 30, 
Lee defeated Pope in the second battle of Bull Run — a de- 
feat scarcely less discouraging to the Federals than the first 
Bull Run had been, and one that caused almost as great a 
panic at Washington. Pope was defeated, the country gener- 
ally believed, because McClellan, who was hardly twenty 
miles away, did not, in spite of orders, do anything to relieve 
him. It seemed to Lincoln that McClellan even wanted Pope 
to fail. The indignation of the Secretary of War and of the 
majority of the members of the cabinet was so great against 
McClellan that a protest against keeping him any longer in 


command of any force was written by Stanton and signed 
by three of his colleagues. Major A. E. H. Johnson, the pri- 
vate secretary of Stanton, first published this protest in the 
Washington " Evening Star," March 18, 1893. Mr. John- 
son says that the President thought it unwise to publish the 
document that Mr. Stanton had prepared ; but he consented 
that the following protest should be signed and handed to 
him as a substitute. The understanding of the cabinet mem- 
bers interested was that this revised protest should go to the 
country. Mr. Johnson believes that Mr. Lincoln himself 
wrote this protest ; at all events, he is certain that the Presi- 
dent consented to it. 

The undersigned, who have been honored with your se- 
lection as part of your confidential advisers, deeply im- 
pressed with our great responsibility in the present crisis, do 
but perform a painful duty in declaring to you our deliberate 
opinion that at this time it is not safe to intrust to Major- 
General McClellan the command of any army of the United 
States. And we hold ourselves ready at any time to explain 
to you in detail the reasons upon which this opinion is based. 

In spite of this evident sympathy of Lincoln with the in- 
dignation against McClellan, on September 2 he placed that 
general in command of all the troops around Washington. 
Probably no act of his ever angered the Secretary of War so 
thoroughly. A large part of the North, too, was indignant. 
A general cry went up to the President for a new leader. 

Lincoln only showed again in this determined and bitterly 
criticised action his courage in acting in a crisis according 
to his own judgment. The army under Pope was demoral- 
ized. Washington was, perhaps, in danger. The defeat had 
robbed Pope of confidence. Halleck, worn out with fatigue 
and anxiety, was beseeching McClellan to come to his 
relief. There was no other general in the army who could 
so quickly " lick the troops into shape," as Lincoln put 

o - 

m oils 


it, and man the fortifications around the city. He made the 
order, and McClellan entirely justified the President's faith 
in him. He did put the army into form, and was able to fol- 
low at once after Lee, who was making for Maryland and 
Pennsylvania. Overtaking Lee at Antietam, north of the 
Potomac, McClellan defeated him on September 17. But 
to Lincoln's utter despair, he failed to follow up his victory 
and allowed Lee to get back south of the Potomac river; 
nor would he follow him, in spite of Lincoln's reiterated urg- 
ing. It was this failure to move McClellan's army from 
camp that sent Lincoln to visit him early in October. He 
would find out the actual condition of the army; see if, as 
McClellan complained, it lacked " everything " and needed 
rest. He found McClellan with over 100,000 men around 
him; two days of his visit he spent in the saddle reviewing 
this force. He visited the hospitals, talked with the men, in- 
terviewed the generals, saw everything. What his opinion of 
the ability of the army to do something was, is evident from 
an order sent McClellan the day after he returned to Wash- 
ington : " The President directs that you cross the Potomac 
and give battle to the enemy or drive him south." This was 
on October 6. A week later, McClellan being still in camp, 
Mr. Lincoln wrote him the following letter : 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, October 13, 1862. 

Major-General McClellan. 

My Dear Sir: You remember my speaking to you of what 
I called your over-cautiousness. Are you not over-cautious 
when you assume that you cannot do what the enemy is con- 
stantly doing? Should you not claim to be at least his equal 
in prowess, and act upon the claim? As I understand, you 
telegraphed General Halleck that you cannot subsist your 
army at Winchester unless the railroad from Harper's Ferry 


to that point be put in working order. But the enemy does 
now subsist his army at Winchester, at a distance nearly twice 
as great from railroad transportation as you would have to 
do without the railroad last named. He now wagons from 
Culpepper Court House, which is just about twice as far as 
you would have to do from Harper's Ferry. He is certainly 
not more than half as well provided with wagons as you are. 
I certainly should be pleased for you to have the advantage 
of the railroad from Harper's Ferry to Winchester, but it 
wastes all the remainder of autumn to give it to you, and, in 
fact, ignores the question of time, which cannot and must 
not be ignored. Again, one of the standard maxims of war, 
as you know, is to " operate upon the enemy's communica- 
tions as much as possible without exposing your own." You 
seem to act as if this applies against you, but cannot apply in 
your favor. Change positions with the enemy, and think 
you not he would break your communication with Richmond 
within the next twenty- four hours? . . . 

If he should move northward, I would follow him closely, 
holding his communications. If he should prevent our seiz- 
ing his communications, and move toward Richmond, I 
would press closely to him, fight him, if a favorable opportu- 
nity should present, and at least try to beat him to Richmond 
on the inside track. I say " try; " if we never try, we shall 
never succeed. If he makes a stand at Winchester, moving 
neither north nor south, I would fight him there, on the idea 
that if we cannot beat him when he bears the wastage of 
coming to us, we never can when we bear the wastage of 
going to him. This proposition is a simple truth, and is too 
important to be lost sight of for a moment. In coming to 
us he tenders us an advantage which we should not waive. 
We should not so operate as to merely drive him away. As 
we must beat him somewhere or fail finally, we can do it, if 
at all, easier near to us than far away. If we cannot beat the 
enemy where he now is, we never can, he again being within 
Jthe intrenchments of Richmond. . . . 

This patient, sensible letter had no effect on McClellan. 
Now, forbearing as Lincoln was as a rule, he could lose his 
patience in a way which it does one good to see. He lost it a 


few days later, when McClellan gave as a reason for inaction 
that his cavalry horses had sore tongues. 

" I have just read your dispatch about sore-tongued and 
fatigued horses," Lincoln telegraphed. " Will you pardon 
me for asking what the horses of your army have done since 
the battle of Antietam that fatigues anything ? " 

Yet even for this telegram he half apologized two days 
later : 

Most certainly I intend no injustice to any, and if I have 
done any I deeply regret it. To be told, after more than five 
weeks' total inaction of the army, and during which period 
we have sent to the army every fresh horse we possibly 
could, amounting in the whole to 7,918, that the cavalry 
horses were too much fatigued to move, presents a very 
cheerless, almost hopeless, prospect for the future, and it 
may have forced something of impatience in my dispatch. 

On the first day of November, McClellan crossed the Po- 
tomac ; but four days later the President, acting on a curious, 
half-superstitious ultimatum which he had laid down for his 
own guidance, removed the General. He had decided, Mr. 
Hay heard him say, that if McClellan permitted Lee to cross 
the Blue Ridge and place himself between Richmond and the 
Army of the Potomac, there would be a change in generals. 
Four days later Lee did this very thing, and Lincoln, un- 
moved by the fact that McClellan had at last begun the 
movement south, kept the compact with himself. 

But who should be asked to take the command of the 
army? There was no man whose achievements made him 
pre-eminent — no one whom the country demanded as it had 
Fremont and McClellan. The choice seemed to be confined 
to the corps commanders of the Army of the Potomac, and 
General Ambrose Burnside was ordered to relieve McClel- 
lan. Lincoln had been watching Burnside closely for many 


months. Indeed, he had already twice asked him to take the 
command, but Burnside, believing in McClellan and mis- 
trusting his own fitness, had refused. 

With an anxious heart the President watched the new 
commander as he followed Lee into Virginia and took a po- 
sition north of the Rappahannock, facing Lee, who was now 
at Fredericksburg, on the south of the river. Burnside at 
once made ready for battle and Lincoln wanting as al- 
ways to see with his own eyes the army's condition, went 
down the Potomac on November 27 to Acquia Creek, where 
Burnside met him and explained his plan. The President 
thought it risky and in a letter to Halleck suggested a less 
hazardous substitute. Both Burnside and Halleck objected 
however and the President yielded. 

Burnside began his movement on December 9. During 
the 10th, nth, 12th, and 13th, the President studied intently 
the yellow-tissue telegrams in his drawer at the telegraph 
office, telling where troops were crossing the river and what 
positions had been gained. At half-past four o'clock on the 
morning of the 14th, a message was received saying that the 
troops were all over the river—" loss, 5,000." This meant 
that the final struggle was at hand. About eight o'clock that 
morning, Mr. Lincoln appeared at the telegraph office of the 
War Department in dressing-gown and carpet slippers. Mr. 
Rosewater, the present editor of the Omaha " Bee," was re- 
ceiving messages, and he says that the President did not leave 
the room until night. Secretary Stanton, Major Eckert, and 
Captain Fox were the only other persons present, as he re- 
members. The excitement and suspense were too great for 
any one to eat, and it was not until evening that the Secre- 
tary sent out for food for the watchers. All day the 15 th the 
anxiety lasted; then, at a quarter past four o'clock on the 
morning of the 1 6th, came news of a retreat. " I have 
thought it necessary," telegraphed Burnside from the north 


of the Rappahannock, " to withdraw the army to this side of 
the river." Slowly the dreadful returns came in — over 
10,000 men dead and wounded, 2,000 more missing. The 
government did its utmost to conceal the disaster, but gradu- 
ally it came out and again the heart-sick country heaped its 
anger on the President. 

Lincoln's faith in Burnside was sorely tried by the battle 
of Fredericksburg. Reports which soon came to him of the 
discouragement of the army, and the disaffection of the 
corps commanders, alarmed him still further, and he refused, 
without Halleck's consent, to allow Burnside to make a new 
movement which the latter had planned. But Halleck de- 
clined, at this critical moment, to accept the responsibilities 
of his position as General-in-Chief and to give a decision. 
Lincoln felt his desertion deeply. 

" If in such a difficulty as this," he wrote Halleck, " you 
do not help, you fail me precisely in the point for which I 
sought your assistance. You know what General Burnside's 
plan is, and it is my wish that you go with him to the ground, 
examine it as far as practicable, confer with the officers, get- 
ting their judgment and ascertaining their temper — in a 
word, gather all the elements for forming a judgment of 
your own, and then tell General Burnside that you do ap- 
prove or that you do not approve his plan. Your military 
skill is useless to me if you will not do this." 

The passing weeks only added to the disorganization of 
the Army of the Potomac, and on January 25 the Presi- 
dent ordered General Joseph Hooker to relieve General 
Burnside. Stanton and Halleck were not satisfied with the 
selection. They wanted the next experiment tried on a 
Western general who was promising well, General W. S. 
Rosecrans. That Lincoln himself saw danger in the ap- 
pointment is evident from the letter he wrote to General 
Hooker : 


General: I have placed you at the head of the Army ol .he 
Potomac. Of course I have done this upon what appear to 
me to be sufficient reasons, and yet I think it best for you to 
know that there are some things in regard to which I am not 
quite satisfied with you. I believe you to be a brave and skill- 
ful soldier, which of course I like. I also believe you do not 
mix politics with your profession, in which you are right. 
You have confidence in yourself, which is a valuable if not an 
indispensable quality. You are ambitious, which, within rea- 
sonable bounds, does good rather than harm ; but I think that 
during General Burnside's command of the army you have 
taken counsel of your ambition and thwarted him as much as 
you could, in which you did a great wrong to the country, 
and to a most meritorious and honorable brother officer. I 
have heard, in such a way as to believe it, of your recently 
saying that both the army and the government needed a dic- 
tator. Of course it was not for this, but in spite of it, that I 
have given you the command. Only those generals who gain 
successes can set up dictators. What I now ask of you is 
military success, and I will risk the dictatorship. The gov- 
ernment will support you to the utmost of its ability, which 
is neither more nor less than it has done and will do for all 
commanders. I much fear that the spirit which you have 
aided to infuse into the army, of criticising their commander 
and withholding confidence from him, will now turn upon 
you. I shall assist you as far as I can to put it down. Neither 
you nor Napoleon, if he were alive again, could get any good 
out of an army while such a spirit prevails in it ; and now be- 
ware of rashness. Beware of rashness, but with energy and 
sleepless vigilance go forward and give us victories. Yours 
very truly, A. Lincoln. 

Hooker had a manly heart, and the President's words ap- 
pealed to the best that was in him. Noah Brooks tells how 
he heard the General read the letter soon after its receipt. 
" He finished reading it," writes Mr. Brooks, " almost with 
tears in his eyes ; and as he folded it and put it back in the 
breast of his coat, he said, ' That is just such a letter as a 
father might write to a son. It is a beautiful letter, and al- 


though I think he was harder on me than I deserved, I will 
say that I love the man who wrote it. ' " 

By the first of April, the Army of the Potom~~ had been 
put into splendid form by General Hooker. An advance 
against the enemy, still entrenched at Fredericksburg, where 
Burnside had engaged him, was contemplated, but prior to 
the battle a grand review of the troops before the President 
was planned. It was on Saturday, April 4, that Lincoln 
left Washington, by a river steamer, for Hooker's headquar- 
ters at Falmouth, Virginia. A great snow-storm began that 
night, and it was with serious delay and discomfort that the 
review was conducted. Difficult as it was, the President was 
indefatigable in his efforts to see all the army, to talk with 
evtvy officer, to shake hands with as many men as possible. 
A strange foreboding seemed to possess him. Hooker's con- 
fident assurance, " I am going straight to Richmond, if I 
live/' filled him with dread. " It's about the worst thing I 
have seen since I have been down here," he told Noah 
Brooks, who was one of the party. When he watched the 
splendid column of that vast army of a hundred thousand, 
there was no rejoicing in his face. The defeats of two years, 
the angry clamor of an unhappy North, the dead of a dozen 
battle-fields, seemed written there instead. So haggard was 
his countenance that even the men in the line noticed it. Ira 
Seymour Dodd, in one of his graphic Civil War stories, has 
described this very review, and he tells how he and his com- 
rades were almost awe-stricken by the glimpse they caught 
of the President's face : 

As we neared the reviewing-stand, the tall figure of Lin- 
coln loomed up. He was on horseback, and his severely 
plain, black citizen's dress set him in bold relief against the 
crowd of generals in full uniform grouped behind him. Dis- 
tinguished men were among them ; but we had no eyes save 
for our revered President, the Commander-in-Chief of the 


army, the brother of every soldier, the great leader of a 
nation in its hour of trial. There was no time save for a 
marching salute ; the occasion called for no cheers. Self-ex- 
amination, not glorification, had brought the army and its 
chief together. But we passed close to him, so that he could 
look into our faces and we into his. 

None of us to our dying day can forget that countenance ! 
From its presence we marched directly onward toward our 
camp, and as soon as "' route step " was ordered and the men 
were free to talk, they spoke thus to each other : " Did you 
ever see such a look on any man's face? " " He is bearing 
the burdens of the nation." " It is an awful load ; it is killing 
him." " Yes, that is so ; he is not long for this world ! " 

Concentrated in that one great, strong yet tender face, the 
agony of the life or death struggle of the hour was revealed 
as we had never seen it before. With new understanding we 
knew why we were soldiers. 

A day later Lincoln left the army, but before going he said 
to Hooker and his generals, " Gentlemen, in your next battle 
put in all your men." The next battle occurred on May I, 
2, 3, and 4. Over 37,000 men were left out of the fight, 
and on May 5 the army again withdrew north of the Po- 
tomac. The news of the retreat reached the President soon 
after noon of May 6. 

"About three o'clock in the afternoon," says Noah 
Brooks, " The door opened, and Lincoln came into the room. 
I shall never forget that picture of despair. He held a tele- 
gram in his hand, and as he closed the door and came toward 
us, I mechanically noticed that his face, usually sallow, was 
ashen in hue. The paper on the wall behind him was of the 
tint known as ' French gray,* and even in that moment of 
sorrow and dread expectation I vaguely took in the thought 
that the complexion of the anguished President's visage was 
almost exactly like that of the wall. He gave me the tele- 
gram, and in a voice trembling with emotion, said, ' Read it 
• — news from the army.' The despatch was from General 
Butte rfi eld. Hooker's chief of staff, addressed to the War 


Department, and was to the effect that the army had been 
withdrawn from the south side of the Rappahannock, and 
was then ' safely encamped ' in its former position. The ap- 
pearance of the President, as I read aloud these fateful 
words, was piteous. Never, as long as I knew him, did he 
seem to be so broken up, so dispirited, and so ghostlike. 
Clasping his hands behind his back, he walked up and down 
the room, saying, ' My God, my God, what will the country 
say ! What will the country say ! ' " 

This consternation was soon mastered. Lincoln's almost 
superhuman faculty of putting disaster behind him and turn- 
ing his whole force to the needs of the moment came to his 
aid. Ordering a steamer to be ready at the wharf, he sum- 
moned Halleck, and at four o'clock the two men were on 
their way to Hooker's headquarters. The next day, the 
President had the situation in hand, and was planning the 
next move of the Army of the Potomac. 

The country could not rally so quickly from the blow of 
Chancellorsville. From every side came again the despair- 
ing cry, " Abraham Lincoln, give us a man ! " But Lincoln 
had no man of whom he felt surer than he did of Hooker, 
and for two months longer he tried to sustain that General. 
A fundamental difficulty existed, however — what Lincoln 
called a " family quarrel " — an antagonism between Halleck 
and Hooker, which caused constant friction. Since the be<- 
ginning of the war, Lincoln had been annoyed, his plans 
thwarted, the cause crippled, by the jealousies and animosi- 
ties of men. So far as possible the President tried to keep out 
of these complications. " I have too many family controver- 
sies, so to speak, already on my hands, to voluntarily, or so 
long as I can avoid it, take up another," he wrote to General 
McClernand once. " You are now doing well — well for the 
country, and well for yourself — much better than you could 
possibly be if engaged in open war with General Halleck." 
But his letters and telegrams show how, in spite of himself, 


he was continually running athwart somebody's prejudice of 

The trouble between Halleck and Hooker reached a cli- 
max at a critical moment. On June 3, Lee had slipped from 
his position on the Rappahannock and started north. Hooker 
had followed him with great skill. Both armies were well 
north of the Potomac, and a battle was imminent when, on 
June 2j, angered by Halleck's refusal of a request, Hooker 

During the days when Hooker was chasing -Lee north- 
ward, the President had spent much of his time in his room 
at the telegraph office. Mr. Chandler, who was on duty there, 
relates that one of his most constant inquiries was about the 
Fifth Corps, under General Meade. "Where's Meade?" 
" What's the Fifth Corps doing? " he was asking constantly. 
He had seen, no doubt, that he might be obliged to displace 
Hooker, and was observing the man whom he had in mind 
for the position. At all events, it was Meade whom he now 
ordered to take charge of the army. 

The days following were ones of terrible suspense at 
Washington. The North, panic-stricken by the Southern in- 
vasion, was clamoring at the President for a hundred things. 
Among other demands was a strongly supported one for the 
recall of McClellan. Col. A. K. McClure, of Philadelphia, 
who, among others, urged Lincoln to restore McClellan, 
says in a letter to the writer : 

When Lee's army entered Pennsylvania in June, 1863, 
there was general consternation throughout the State. The 
Army of the Potomac was believed to be very much demor- 
alized by the defeat of Chancellorsville, by want of confi- 
dence in Hooker as commander, and by the apprehension 
that any of the corps commanders, called suddenly to lead 
the army just on the eve of the greatest battle of the war, 
would not inspire the trust of the soldiers. The friends of 
General McClellan believed that he could best defend the 


State. He was admittedly the best organizer in our entire 
army, and preeminently equipped as a defensive officer, and 
they assumed that his restoration to the command would 
bring in immense Democratic support to the Administra- 

Lincoln's view of the matter is fully shown by the tele- 
gram which he sent in reply to the one from Colonel Mc- 
Clure urging McClellan's appointment. 

War Department, 
Washington City, June 30, 1863. 

A. K. McClure, Philadelphia : 

Do we gain anything by opening one leak to stop another ? 
Do we gain anything by quieting one clamor merely to open 
another, and probably a larger one? A. Lincoln. 

Three days after his appointment, Meade met Lee at Get- 
tysburg, in Pennsylvania, and after three days of hard fight- 
ing defeated him. During these three terrible days — the 
1st, 2d, and 3d of July — Mr. Lincoln spent most of his time 
in the telegraph office. 

" He read every telegram with the greatest eagerness," 
says Mr. Chandler, " and frequently was so anxious that he 
would rise from his seat and come around and lean over my 
shoulder while I was translating the cipher. After the bat- 
tle of Gettysburg, the President urged Meade to pursue Lee 
and engage him before he should cross the Potomac. His 
anxiety seemed as great as it had been during the battle 
itself, and now, as then, he walked up and down the floor, 
his face grave and anxious, wringing his hands and showing 
every sign of deep solicitude. As the telegrams came in, he 
traced the positions of the two armies on the map, and 
several times called me up to point out their location, 
seeming to feel the need of talking to some one. Finally, a 
telegram came from Meade saying that under such and such 
circumstances he would engage the enemy at such and such 


a time. r Yes/ said the President bitterly, ' he will be ready 
to fight a magnificent battle when there is no enemy there to 
fight i ,M 

Perhaps Lincoln never had a harder struggle to do what 
he thought to be just than he did after Meade allowed Lee to 
escape across the Potomac. He seems to have entertained 
a suspicion that the General wanted Lee to get away, for in a 
telegram to Simon Cameron, on July 15, he says: "I 
would give much to be relieved of the impression that 
Meade, Couch, Smith, and all, since the battle at Gettysburg, 
have striven only to get Lee over the river without another 
fight." The day before, he wrote Meade a letter in which he 
put frankly all his discontent : 

. . . . My dear General, I do not believe you appreci- 
ate the magnitude of the misfortune involved in Lee's es- 
cape. He was within your easy grasp, and to have closed 
upon him would, in connection with our other late successes, 
have ended the war. As it is, the war will be prolonged in- 
definitely. If you could not safely attack Lee last Monday, 
how can you possibly do so south of the river, when you can 
take with you very few more than two-thirds of the force 
you then had in hand? It would be unreasonable to expect 
and I do not expect that you can now effect much. Your 
golden opportunity is gone, and I am distressed immeasur- 
ably because of it. 

I beg you will not consider this a prosecution or persecu- 
tion of yourself. As you had learned that I was dissatisfied, 
I have thought it best to kindly tell you why.* 

He never sent the letter. Thinking it over, in his dispas- 
sionate way, he evidently concluded that it would not repair 
the misfortune and that it might dishearten the General. He 
smothered his regret, and went on patiently and loyally for 
many months in the support of his latest experiment. 

But while in the East the President had been experiment- 

* Abraham Lincoln. A History. By Nicolay and Hay. 


General Joseph Hooker had now been in command of the army since 


January 25, 1863, and had brought it into " splendid form." 


ing with men, in the West a man had been painfully and si- 
lently making himself. His name was Ulysses S. Grant 
The President had known nothing of his coming into the 
army. No political party had demanded him ; indeed he had 
found it difficult at first, West Point graduate though he wa9 
and great as the need of trained service was, to secure the 
lowest appointment. He had taken what he could get, how- 
ever, and from the start he had always done promptly the 
thing asked of him ; more than that, he seemed always to be 
looking for things to do. It was these habits of his that 
brought him at last, in February of 1862, to the command of 
a movement in which Lincoln was deeply interested. This 
was the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson, near the 
mouth of the Tennessee river. " Our success or failure at 
Fort Donelson is vastly important, and I beg you to put 
your soul in the effort," Lincoln wrote on February 16 to 
Halleck and Buell, then in command of Missouri and Ten- 
nessee. While the President was writing his letters, Grant, 
in front of Fort Donelson, was writing a note to the 
Confederate commander, who had asked for terms of capitu- 
lation : " No terms except unconditional and immediate sur- 
render can be accepted. I propose to move immediately on 
your works." To the harrassed President at Washington 
these words must have been like a war-cry. He had spent 
the winter in a vain effort to inspire his supposed great gen- 
erals with the very spirit breathed in the words and deeds of 
this unknown officer in the West. 

Grant was now made a major-general, and entrusted with 
larger things. He always brought about results ; but in spite 
of this, the President saw there was much opposition to him. 
For a long period he was in partial disgrace; but Lincoln 
must have noticed that while many other generals, whose 
achievements were less than Grant's, complained loudly zvd. 
incessantly at reprimands — "' snubbing," the President 


called it — Grant said nothing. He stayed at his post dog- 
gedly, working his way inch by inch down the Mississippi. 

Finally, in July, 1862, when General Halleck was called 
to Washington as General-in-Chief, Grant was put at the 
head of the armies of the West. There was much opposition 
to him. Men came to the President urging his removal. Lin- 
coln shook his head. " I can't spare this man," he said; " he 
fights" Many good people complained that he drank. " Can 
you tell me the kind of whisky? " asked Lincoln, " I should 
like to send a barrel to some of my other generals." 

Nevertheless, the President grew anxious as the months 
went on. The opening of the Mississippi was, after the cap- 
ture of Richmond, the most important task of the war. The 
wrong man there was only second in harm to the wrong man 
on the Potomac. Was Grant a " wrong man? " Little could 
be told from his telegrams and letters. "' General Grant is a 
copious worker and fighter," said Lincoln later, " but he is 
a very meager writer or telegrapher." Finally, the Presi- 
dent and the Secretary of War sent for a brilliant and loyal 
newspaper man, Charles A. Dana, and asked him to go to 
Grant's army, " to act as the eyes of the Government at 
the front," said the President. His real mission was to find 
out for them what kind of a man Grant was. Dana's letters 
soon showed Lincoln that Grant was a general that nothing 
could turn from a purpose. That was enough for the Presi- 
dent. He let him alone, and watched. When, finally, Vicks- 
burg was captured, he wrote him the following letter — it 
may be called his first recognition of the General : 

Washington, July 13, 1863. 
Major-General Grant. 

My Dear General: I do not remember that you and I ever 
met personally. I write this now as a grateful acknowledg- 
ment for the almost inestimable service you have done the 
country. I wish to say a word further. When yor firrt 


reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I thought you should do 
what you finally did — march the troops across the neck, run 
the batteries with the transports, and thus go below ; and I 
never had any faith, except a general hope that you knew 
better than I, that the Yazoo Pass expedition and the like 
could succeed. When you got below and took Port Gibson, 
Grand Gulf, and vicinity, I thought you should go down the 
river and join General Banks, and when you turned north- 
ward, east of the Big Black, I feared it was a mistake. I now 
wish to make the personal acknowledgment that you were 
right and I was wrong. Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Grant was busy with new movements before this letter 
reached him; indeed, as soon as Vicksburg capitulated, he 
had begun getting ready to do something else. So occupied 
was he that he did not even take time to write his plans to 
the Government, asking Mr. Dana to do it for him. 

Three and a half months later, after the Army of the 
Cumberland had been defeated at Chickamauga and had re- 
tired into Chattanooga, Grant was called to its relief. In a 
month the Confederates were driven from their positions 
on the ridges above him and East Tennessee was saved. 
There was no longer in Lincoln's mind a doubt that at last 
he had found the man he wanted. In the winter following, 
'63 and '64, after much discussion Congress revived the 
grade of lieutenant-general in the army purposely for 
Grant's benefit and on February 29, Lincoln nominated the 
general to the rank. He proceeded at once to Washington, 
where on March 9 the President and the General met for the 
first time. What did the President want him to do, Grant 
asked. Take Richmond was the President's reply, could he 
do it? If he had the troops Grant answered. The President 
promised them. Two months later Grant had re-organized 
the Army of the Potomac and had started at its head for the 
final march to Richmond. 




Another serious problem which the failure of the Penin- 
sular campaign thrust on the President was where to get 
troops for a renewal of the war. When one recalls the eager- 
ness with which men rushed into arms at the opening of the 
Civil war, it seems as if President Lincoln should never have 
had anxiety about filling the ranks of the army. For 
the first year, indeed, it gave him little concern. So promptly 
were the calls of 1861 answered that in the spring of 1862 
an army of 637,126 men was in service. It was believed that 
with this force the war could be ended, and in April recruit- 
ing was stopped. It was a grave mistake. Before the end of 
May, the losses and discouragements of the Peninsular cam- 
paign made it necessary to re-enforce the Army of the Poto- 
mac. More men were needed, in fact, all along the line. 
Lincoln saw that, rather than an army of 600,000 men, he 
should have one of a million, and, July 2, he issued a call 
for 300,000 men for three years, and August 4 an order 
was issued for a draft of 300,000 more for nine months. 

By the end of 1862, nearly one and a half million men had 
been enrolled in the army. Nevertheless, the " strength of 
the army " at that time was counted at but 918,000. What 
had become of the half million and more? Nearly 100,000 
of them had been killed or totally disabled on the battlefield ; 
200,000 more, perhaps, had fallen out in the seasoning pro- 
cess. Passed by careless medical examiners, the first five- 
mile march, the first week of camp life, had brought out 
some physical weakness which made soldiering- out of the 



question. The rest of the loss was in three-months', six- 
months', or nine-months' men. They had enlisted for these 
short periods, and their terms up, they had left the army. 

Moreover, the President had learned by this time that, 
even when the Secretary of War told him that the " strength 
of the army " was 918,000, it did not by any means follow 
that there were that number of men present for duty. Expe- 
rience had taught him that about one- fourth of the reputed 
"' strength " must be allowed for shrinkage ; that is, for men 
in hospitals, men on furloughs, men who had deserted. He 
had learned that this enormous wastage went on steadily. It 
followed that, if the army was to be kept up to the million- 
men mark, recruiting must be as steady as, and in proportion 
to, the shrinkage. 

Recruiting, so easy at the beginning of the war, had be- 
come by 1862 quite a different matter. Patriotism, love of 
adventure, excitement could no longer be counted on to fill 
the ranks. It was plain to the President that hereafter, if 
he was to have the men he needed, military service must be 
compulsory. Nothing could have been devised which would 
have created a louder uproar in the North than the sugges- 
tion of a draft. All through the winter of 1862-63, Congress 
wrangled over the bill ordering it, much of the press in the 
meantime denouncing it as " despotic " and " contrary to 
American institutions." The bill passed, however, and the 
President signed it in March, 1863. At once there was put 
into operation a huge new military machine, the Bureau of 
the Provost-Marshal-General, which had for its business the 
enrollment of all the men in the United States whom the new 
law considered capable of bearing arms and the drafting 
enough of them to fill up the quota assigned to each State. 
This bureau was also to look after deserters. 

A whole series of new problems was thrust on the Presi- 
dent when the Bureau of the Provost-Marshal-General came 


into being. The quotas assigned the States led to endless 
disputes between the governors and the War Department; 
the drafts caused riots; an inferior kind of soldier was ob- 
tained by drafting, and deserters increased. Lincoln shirked 
none of these new cares. He was determined that the effi- 
ciency of the war engine should be kept up, and nobody in 
the Government studied more closely how this was to be 
done, or insisted more vigorously on the full execution of 
the law. In assigning the quotas to the different States, cer- 
tain credits were made of men who had enlisted previously. 
Many disputes arose over the credits and assignments, 
some of them most perplexing. Ultimately most of these 
reached the President. The draft bore heavily on districts 
where the percentage of death among the first volunteers had 
been large, and often urgent pleas were made to the Presi- 
dent to release a city or county from the quota assigned. The 
late Joseph Medill, the editor of the Chicago " Tribune," 
once told me how he and certain leading citizens of Chicago 
went to Lincoln to ask that the quota of Cook County be re- 

" In 1864, when the call for extra „<oops came, Chicago 
revolted, ,, said Mr. Medill. " She had already sent 22,000 
men up to that time, and was drained. When the new call 
came, there were no young men to go — no aliens except 
what were bought. The citizens held a mass meeting, and 
appointed three persons, of whom I was one, to go to Wash- 
ington and ask Stanton to give Cook County a new enroll- 
ment. I begged off; but the committee insisted, so I went. 
On reaching Washington, we went to Stanton with our 
statement. He refused entirely to give us the desired aid. 
Then we went to Lincoln. ' I cannot do it/ he said, * but I 
will go with you to Stanton and hear the arguments of both 
sides.' So we all went over to the War Department together. 
Stanton and General Frye were there, and they, of course, 
contended that the quota should not be changed. The argu- 
ment went on for some time, and finally was referred to Lin- 


coin, who had been sitting silently listening. I shall never 
forget how he suddenly lifted his head and turned on us a 
black and frowning face. 

" ' Gentlemen,' he said, in a voice full of bitterness, ' after 
Boston, Chicago has been the chief instrument in bringing 
this war on the country. The Northwest has opposed the 
South as New England has opposed the South. It is you 
who are largely responsible for making blood flow as it has. 
You called for war until we had it. You called for Emanci- 
pation, and I have given it to you. Whatever you have asked 
you have had. Now you come here begging to be let off 
from the call for men which I have made to carry out the 
war you have demanded. You ought to be ashamed of your- 
selves. I have a right to expect better things of you. Go 
home, and raise your 6,000 extra men. And you, Medill, 
you are acting like a coward. You and your ' Tribune ' have 
had more influence than any paper in the Northwest in mak- 
ing this war. You can influence great masses, and yet you 
cry to be spared at a moment when your cause is suffering. 
Go home and send us those men/ 

" I couldn't say anything. It was the first time I ever was 
whipped, and I didn't have an answer. We all got up and 
went out, and when the door closed, one of my colleagues 
said : ' Well, gentlemen, the old man is right. We ought to 
be ashamed of ourselves. Let us never say anything about 
this, but go home and raise the men.' And we did — 6,000 
men — making 28,000 in the war from a city of 156,000. But 
there might have been crape on every door almost in Chi- 
cago, for every family had lost a son or a husband. I lost two 
brothers. It was hard for the mothers."* 

Severe as Lincoln could be with any disposition to shirk 
what he considered a just and necessary demand, strenu- 
ously as he insisted that the ranks must be kept full, he never 
came to regard the army as a mere machine, never forgot the 
individual men who made it up. Indeed, he was the one man 

* These notes were made immediately after an interview given me by 
Mr. Medill in June, 1895. They were to be corrected before publication, 
but Mr. Medill's death occurred before they were in type, so that the 
account was never seen by hina- 


in the Government who, from first to last, was big enough to 
use both his head and his heart. From the outset, he was the 
personal friend of every soldier he sent to the front, and 
somehow every man seemed to know it. No doubt, it was on 
Lincoln's visits to the camps around Washington, in the 
early days of the war, that the body of the soldiers got this 
idea. They never forgot his friendly hand-clasp, his hearty 
" God bless you," his remonstrance against the youth of 
some fifteen-year-old boy masquerading as twenty, his jocu- 
lar remarks about the height of some soldier towering above 
his own six feet four. When, later, he visited the Army of 
the Potomac on the Rappahannock and at Antietam, these 
impressions of his interest in the personal welfare of the sol- 
diers were renewed. He walked down the long lines of tents 
or huts, noting the attempts at decoration, the housekeep- 
ing conveniences, replying by smiles and nods and sometimes 
with words to the greetings, rough and hearty, which he re- 
ceived. He inquired into every phase of camp life, and the 
men knew it, and said to one another, " He cares for us; he 
makes us fight, but he cares." 

Reports of scores of cases where he interfered personally 
to secure some favor or right for a soldier found their way to 
the army and gave solid foundation to this impression that 
he was the soldier's friend. From the time of the arrival of 
the first troops in Washington, in April, 1861, the town was 
full of men, all of them wanting to see the President. At 
first they were gay and curious merely, their requests trivial ; 
but later, when the army had settled down to steady fight- 
ing, and Bull Run and the Peninsula and Antietam and 
Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville had cut and scarred and 
aged it, the soldiers who haunted Washington were changed. 
They stumped about on crutches. They sat pale and thin 
in the parks, empty sleeves pinned to their breasts; they 
came to the White House beg-ging for furloughs to see 


dying parents, for release to support a suffering family. 
No man will ever know how many of these soldiers Abra- 
ham Lincoln helped. Little cards are constantly turning up 
in different parts of the country, treasured by private sol- 
diers, on which he had written some brief note to a proper 
authority, intended to help a man out of a difficulty. Here 
is one: 


m-£~<~*j fur**- <•*» *-^*^ ^*" > 

Sec. of War, please see thi? Pittsburgh boy. He 
is very young, and I shall be satisfied with whatever 
you do with him. A. Lincoln. 

Aug. 21, 1863. 

The " Pittsburgh boy " had enlisted at seventeen. He 
had been ill with a long fever. He wanted a furlough, and 
with a curious trust that anything could be done if he could 
only get to the President, he had slipped into the White 
House, and by chance met Lincoln, who listened to his story 
and gave him this note. 

Many applications reached Lincoln as he passed to and 
from the White House and the War Department. One day 
as he crossed the park he was stopped by a negro who told 
him a pitiful story. The President wrote him out a check 
for five dollars. " Pay to colored man with one leg," it 
read. This check is now in the collection of H. H. Officee 
of Denver, Colorado. 

A pleasing scene between Lincoln and a soldier once fell 
under the eye of Mr. A. W. Swan of Albuquerque, New 


Mexico, on this same path between the White House and the 
War Department: 

" In company with a gentleman, I was on the way to the 
War Department one day. Our way led through a small 
park between the White House and the War Department 
building. As we entered this park we noticed Mr. Lincoln 
just ahead of us, and meeting him a private soldier who was 
evidently in a violent passion, as he was swearing in a high 
key, cursing the Government from the President down. Mr. 
Lincoln paused as he met the irate soldier, and asked him 
what was the matter. ' Matter enough,' was the reply. ' I 
want my money. I have been discharged here, and can't get 
my pay.' Mr. Lincoln asked if he had his papers, saying that 
he used to practice law in a small way and possibly could 
help him. My friend and I stepped behind some convenient 
shrubbery where we could watch the result. Mr. Lincoln 
took the papers from the hands of the crippled soldier, and 
sat down with him at the foot of a convenient tree, where he 
examined them carefully, and writing a line on the back 
told the soldier to take them to Mr. Potts, Chief Clerk of the 
War Department, who would doubtless attend to the matter 
at once. After Mr. Lincoln had left the soldier, we stepped 
out and asked him if he knew whom he had been talking 
with. * Some ugly old fellow who pretends to be a lawyer/ 
was the reply. My companion asked to see the papers, and 
on their being handed to him, pointed to the indorsement 
they had received. This indorsement read : ' Mr. Potts, at- 
tend to this man's case at once and see that he gets his pay. 
A. L.' The initials were too familiar with men in position 
to know them to be ignored. We went with the soldier, who 
had just returned from Libby Prison and had been given a 
hospital certificate for discharge, to see Mr. Potts, and be- 
fore the Paymaster's office was closed for the day, he had 
received his discharge and check for the money due him, he 
in the meantime not knowing whether to be the more pleased 
or sorry to think he had cursed ' Abe Lincoln ' to his face." 

It was not alone the soldier to whom the President lis- 
tened ; it was also to his wife, his mother, his daughter. 


H I remember one morning," says Mr. A. B. Chandler, 
" his coming into my office with a distressed expression on 
his face and saying to Major Eckert, ' Eckert, who is that 
woman crying out in the hall? What is the matter with 
her ? ' Eckert said he did not know, but would go and find 
out. He came back soon, and said that it was a woman who 
had come a long distance expecting to go down to the army 
to see her husband, that she had some very important mat- 
ters to consult him about. An order had gone out a short 
time before to allow no women in the army, except in special 
cases. She was bitterly disappointed, and was crying over it. 
Mr. Lincoln sat moodily for a moment after hearing this 
story, and suddenly looking up, said, ' Let's send her down. 
You write the order, Major/ Major Eckert hesitated a mo- 
ment, and said, ' Would it not be better for Colonel Hardie 
to write the order? ' ' Yes,' said Mr. Lincoln, ' that is better; 
let Hardie write it/ The major went out, and soon returned, 
saying, ' Mr. President, would it not be better in this case to 
let the woman's husband come to Washington ? ' Mr. Lin- 
coln's face lighted up with pleasure. ' Yes, yes,' he said ; 
1 let's bring him up.' The order was written, and the woman 
was told that her husband would come to Washington. This 
done, her sorrows seemed lifted from Mr. Lincoln's heart, 
and he sat down to his yellow tissue telegrams with a serene 

The futility of trying to help all the soldiers who found 
their way to him must have come often to Lincoln's mind. 
" Now, my man, go away, go away'' General Fry overheard 
him say one day to a soldier who was pleading for the Presi- 
dent's interference in his behalf; " I cannot meddle in your 
case. I could as easily bail out the Potomac with a teaspoon 
as attend to all the details of the army." 

The President's relations with individual soldiers were, of 
course, transient. Washington was for the great body of sol- 
diers, whatever their condition, only a half-way house be- 
tween North and South. The only body of soldiers with 
vyhich the President had long association was Company K 


of the 150th Pennsylvania Volunteers. This company, 
raised in Crawford County, in northwestern Pennsylvania, 
reached Washington in the first days of September, 1862. 
September 6, Captain D. V. Derickson of Meadville, Penn- 
sylvania, who was in command of the company, received 
orders to march his men to the Soldiers' Home, to act 
there as a guard to the President, who was occupying a cot- 
tage in the grounds. 

" The next morning after our arrival," says Mr. Derick- 
son, " the President sent a messenger to my quarters, stating 
that he would like to see the captain of the guard at his resi- 
dence. I immediately reported. After an informal intro- 
duction and handshaking, he asked me if I would have any 
objection to riding with him to the city. I replied that it 
would give me much pleasure to do so, when he invited me 
to take a seat in the carriage. On our way to the city, he 
made numerous inquiries, as to my name, where I came 
from, what regiment I belonged to, etc. . . . 

" When we entered the city, Mr. Lincoln said he would 
call at General Halleck's headquarters and get what news 
had been received from the army during the night. I in- 
formed him that General Cullum, chief aid to General Hal- 
leck, was raised in Meadville and that I knew him when I 
was a boy. He replied, ' Then we must see both the gentle- 
men.' When the carriage stopped, he requested me to remain 
seated, and said he would bring the gentlemen down to see 
me, the office being on the second floor. In a short time the 
President came down, followed by the other gentlemen. 
When he introduced them to me, General Cullum recognized 
and seemed pleased to see me. In General Halleck I thought 
I discovered a kind of quizzical look, as much as to say, 
' Isn't this rather a big joke to ask the Commander-in-Chief 
of the Army down to the street to be introduced to a country 
captain ? ' . . . 

" Supposing that the invitation to ride to the city with the 
President was as much to give him an opportunity to look 
over and interview the new captain as for any other purpose, 
I did not report the next morning. During rh$ day I was in- 


formed that it was the desire of the President that I should 
breakfast with him and accompany him to the White House 
every morning, and return with him in the evening - . This 
duty I entered upon with much pleasure, and was on hand in 
good time next morning; and I continued to perform this 
duty until we moved to the White House in November. It 
was Mr. Lincoln's custom, on account of the pressure of 
business, to breakfast before the other members of the fam-,, 
ily were up ; and I usually entered his room at half-past six 
or seven o'clock in the morning, where I often found him 
reading the Bible or some work on the art of war. On my 
entering, he would read aloud and offer comments of his 
own as he read. 

" I usually went down to the city at four o'clock and re- 
turned with the President at five. He often carried a small 
portfolio containing papers relating to the business of the 
day, and spent many hours on them in the evening. . . . 
I found Mr. Lincoln to be one of the most kind-hearted and 
pleasant gentlemen that I had ever met. He never spoke un- 
kindly of any one. and always spoke of the rebels as ' those 
Southern gentlemen.' "* 

This kindly relation begun with the captain, the President 
extended to every man of his company. It was their pride 
that he knew every one of them by name. " He always called 
me Joe," I heard a veteran of the guard say, a quaver in his 
voice. He never passed the men on duty without acknowl- 
edging their salute, and often visited their camp. Once in 
passing when the men were at mess, he called out, " That 
coffee smells good, boys; give me a cup." And on another 
occasion he asked for a plate of beans, and sat down on a 
camp-stool and ate them. Mrs. Lincoln frequently visited 
the company with the President, and many and many a gift 
to the White House larder from enthusiastic supporters of 
the Administration was sent to the boys — now a barrel of 
apple butter, now a quarter of beef. On holidays, Mrs. Lin- 

* Major D. V. Derickson in the Centennial Edition of the Meadville 
M Tribune-Republicafc." 


coin made it a rule to provide Company K with a turkey 

Late in the fall of 1862, an attempt was made to depose 
the company. Every member of the guard now living can 
quote verbatim the note which the President wrote settling 
the matter : 

Executive Mansion, Washington, 
November 1, 1862. 

To Whom it May Concern : Captain Derickson, with his 
company, has been for some time keeping guard at my resi- 
dence, now at the Soldiers' Retreat. He and his company 
are very agreeable to me, and while it is deemed proper for 
any guard to remain, none would be more satisfactory than 
Captain Derickson and his company. A. Lincoln. 

Thf» welfare of the men, their troubles, escapades, amuse- 
ments, were treated by the President as a kind of family 
matter. He never forgot to ask after the sick, often secured 
a pass or a furlough for some one, and took genuine delight 
in the camp fun. 

" While we were in camp at the Soldiers' Home in the 
fall of 1862," says Mr. C. M. Derickson of Mercer, Penn- 
sylvania, " the boys indulged in various kinds of amuse* 
ment. I think it was the Kepler boys who introduced the 
trained elephant. Two men of about the same size, both in 
a stooped position, were placed one ahead of the other. An 
army blanket was then thrown over them so that it came 
about to their knees, and a trunk, improvised by wrapping 
a piece of a blanket around a small elastic piece of wood, 
was placed in the hands of the front man. Here you have 
your elephant. Ours was taught to get down on his knees, 
stand on one leg, and do various other tricks. While the 
elephant was going through his exercises one evening, the 
President strolled into camp. He was very much amused at 
the wonderful feats the elephant could perform, and a few 
evenings after he called again and brought a friend with him, 


and asked the captain if he would not have the elephant 
brought out again, as he would like to have his friend see 
him perform. Of course it was done, to the great amuse- 
ment of both the President and his friend." 

No doubt much of the President's interest in Company 
K was due to his son Tad. The boy was a great favorite 
with the men, and probably carried to his father many a tale 
of the camp. He considered himself, in fact, no unimportant 
part of the organization, for he wore a uniform, carried a 
lieutenant's commission, often drilled with the men or rode 
on his pony at their head in reviews, and much of the time 
messed with them. One of the odd duties which devolved 
upon Company K was looking after Tad's goats. These 
animals have been given a place in history by Lincoln him- 
self in telegrams to Mrs. Lincoln, duly filed in the records 
of the War Department : " Tell Tad the goats and father 
are very well, especially the goats," he wired one day; and 
again. " All well, including Tad's pony and the goats." 
They were privileged beings on the White House lawn, and 
were looked after by the company because of Tad's affection 
for them. They met an untimely end, being burned to death 
in a fire, which destroyed the White House stables, February 
10, 1864. 

The two most harowing consequences of war, the havoc 
of the battlefield and the disease of camp life, from the be- 
ginning to the end of the Civil War, centered in Washing- 
ton. It was the point to which every man disabled in the 
Army of the Potomac must come sooner or later for care or 
to be transferred to the North. After battles, the city 
seemed turned into one great hospital. For days then a 
long, straggling train of mutilated men poured in. They 
came on flat cars or open transports, piled so close together 
that no attendant could pass between them ; protected occa- 
sionally from the cold by a blanket which had escaped with 


its owner, or from the sun by green boughs placed in theif 
hands or laid over their faces. When Washington was 
reached, all that could be done was to lay them in long rows 
on the wharfs or platforms until ambulances could carry 
them to the hospitals. It is when one considers the numbers 
of wounded in the great Virginia battles that he realizes 
the length and awfulness of the streams which flowed into 
Washington. At Fredericksburg they numbered 9,600; at 
Chancellorsville, 9,762; in the Wilderness, 12,037; at Spott- 
sylvania, 13,416. 

In the early days of the war, Washington was so poorly 
supplied with hospitals that after the first battle of Bull Run 
churches, dwellings, and government buildings were seized 
to place the wounded in, and there were so few nurses that 
the people of Washington had to be called upon. Very rap- 
idly little settlements of board barracks or of white army 
tents multiplied in the open spaces in and around the town, 
quarters for the sick and wounded. Nurses poured in from 
the North. Organizations for relief multiplied. By the 
end of 1862, Mr. Lincoln could scarcely drive or walk in any 
direction about Washington without passing a hospital. 
Even in going to his summer cottage, at the Soldiers' Home, 
the President did not escape the sight of the wounded. The 
rolling hillside was dotted with white hospital tents during 
the entire war. In many places the tents were placed close 
to the road, so as to get more air, the grounds being more 
thickly wooded than they are now. As he drove home, after 
a harrowing day in the White House, the President fre- 
quently looked from his carriage upon the very beds of 
wounded soldiers. 

Every member of the Government, whether he would or 
not ; was obliged to give some attention to this side of the 
war. It became a regular feature of a congressman's life 
in those days *o spend every Saturday or Sunday afternoon 


in the hospitals, visiting the wounded men from his district. 
He wrote their letters, brought them news, saw to their 
wants. If he had not done it, his constituents would have 
disposed of him in short order. 

In 1862, Mr. Lincoln called Dr. D. Willard Bliss from the 
field to Washington, to aid in organizing a more perfect 
system of general hospitals in and about the city. One re- 
sult of Dr. Bliss's coming was the building of Armory 
Square Hospital, one of the best conducted institutions of 
the Civil War. Lincoln gave his personal attention to the 
building of Armory Square, and for a long time met Dr. 
Bliss twice each week to consider the ingenious appliances 
which the latter devised to aid in caring for and treating the 
wounded. Some of these appliances the President paid for 
out of his own pocket. Not infrequently he had some sug- 
gestion to make for the comfort of the place. It was due 
to him that Armory Square became a bower of vine and 
bloom in the summer. " Why don't you plant flower 
seeds ? " he asked Dr. Bliss one day. The doctor said he 
would if he had seeds. " I'll order them for you from the 
Agricultural Department," replied the President, and sure 
enough he did ; and thereafter, all through the season, each 
of the long barracks had its own flower bed and vines. 

The President himself visited the hospitals as often as he 
could, visits never forgotten by the men to whom he spoke as 
he passed up and down the wards, shaking hands here, giv- 
ing a cheering word there, making jocular comments every- 
where. There are men still living who tell of a little scene 
they witnessed at Armory Square in 1863. A soldier of the 
140th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, had been 
wounded in the shoulder at the battle of Chancellorsvilie 
and taken to Washington. One day, as he was becoming 
convalescent, a whisper ran down the long row of cots 
that the President was in the building and would soon pass 


by. Instantly every boy in blue who was able arose, stood 
erect, hands to the side, ready to salute his Commander-in- 
Chief. The Pennsylvanian stood six feet seven inches in his 
stockings. Lincoln was six feet four. As the President ap- 
proached this giant towering above him, he stopped in 
amazement, and casting his eyes from head to foot and from 
foot to head, as if contemplating the immense distance from 
one extremity to the other, he stood for a moment speech- 
less. At length, extending his hand, he exclaimed, " Hello, 
comrade, do you know when your feet get cold ? " 

Lincoln rarely forgot a patient whom he saw a second 
time, and to stubborn cases that remained from month to 
month he gave particular attention. There was in Armory 
Square Hospital for a long time a boy known as " little 
Johnnie." He was hopelessly crippled — doomed to death, 
but cheerful, and a general favorite. Lincoln never failed 
to stop at " little Johnnie's " cot when he went to Armory 
Square, and he frequently sent him fruit and flowers and a 
friendly message through Mrs. Lincoln. 

Of all the incidents told of Lincoln's hospital visits, there 
is nothing more characteristic, better worth preservation, 
than the one following, preserved by Dr. Jerome Walker of 
Brooklyn : 

" Just one week before his assassination, President Lin- 
coln visited the Army of the Potomac, at City Point, Vir- 
ginia, and carefully examined the hospital arrangements of 
the Ninth, Sixth, Fifth, Second, and Sixteenth Corps hospi- 
tals and of the Engineer Corps, there stationed. At that time 
I was an agent of the United States Sanitary Commission 
attached to the Ninth Corps Hospital. Though a boy of 
nineteen years, to me was assigned the duty of escorting the 
President through our department of the hospital system. 
The reader can imagine the pride with which I fulfilled the 
duty, and as we went from tent to tent I could not but note 
his gentleness, his friendly greetings to the sick and 


wounded, his quiet humor as he drew comparisons between 
himself and the very tall and very short men with whom 
he came in contact, and his genuine interest in the welfare of 
the soldiers. 

" Finally, after visiting the wards occupied by our invalid 
and convalescing soldiers, we came to three wards occupied 
by sick and wounded Southern prisoners. With a feeling 
of patriotic duty, I said, ' Mr. President, you won't want to 
go in there; they are only rebels/ I will never forget how 
he stopped and gently laid his large hand upon my shoulder 
and quietly answered, ' You mean Confederates/ And I 
have meant Confederates ever since. 

" There was nothing left for me to do after the Presi- 
dent's remark but to go with him through these three wards ; 
and I could not see but that he was just as kind, his hand- 
shakings just as hearty, his interest just as real for the wel- 
fare of the men, as when he was among our own soldiers. 

" As we returned to headquarters, the President urged 
upon me the importance of caring for them as faithfully as I 
should for our own sick and wounded. When I visited next 
day these three wards, the Southern officers and soldiers 
were full of praise for ' Abe ' Lincoln, as they called him, 
and when a week afterwards the news came of the assassina- 
tion, there was no truer sorrow nor greater indignation any- 
where than was shown by these same Confederates." 

One great cause of sorrow 10 Lincoln throughout the war 
was the necessity of punishing soldiers. Not only did the 
men commit all the crimes common to society, like robbery 
and murder ; they were guilty of others peculiar to military 
organization and war, such as desertion, sleeping on post, 
disobedience to orders, bounty jumping, giving informa- 
tion to the enemy. As the army grew larger, desertion be- 
came so common and so disastrous to efficiency that it had 
to be treated with great severity. Lincoln seems to have 
had his attention first called to it seriously when he visited 
McClellan's army in July, 1862, for he wrote to McClellan, 
July 13: 



My Dear Sir: I am told that over 160,000 men have gone 
into your army on the Peninsula. When I was with you 
the other day we made out 86,500 remaining, leaving 73,500 
to be accounted for. I believe 23,500 will cover all the killed, 
wounded, and missing in all your battles and skirmishes, 
leaving 50,000 who have left otherwise. Not more than 
5,000 of these have died, leaving 45,000 of your army still 
alive and not with it. I believe half or two-thirds of them 
are fit for duty to-day. Have you any more perfect knowl- 
edge of this than I have? If I am right, and you had these 
men with you, you could go into Richmond in the next three 
days. How can they be got to you, and how can they be 
prevented from getting away in such numbers for the fu- 
ture? A. Lincoln. 

About the same time, Buell reported 14,000 absentees 
from his army. In the winter of 1862 and 1863 it grew 
worse. General Hooker says that when he took charge of 
the Army of the Potomac in January, 1863, the desertions 
were at the rate of 200 a day. "I caused a return to be made 
of the absentees of the army," he continues, " and found 
the number to be 2,922 commissioned officers and 81,964 
non-commissioned officers and privates. These were scat- 
tered all over the country, and the majority were absent 
from causes unknown." 

When the Bureau of the Provost-Marshal was established 
in March, 1863, finding and punishing deserters became one 
of its duties. Much of the difficulty was due to the methods 
of recruiting. To stimulate volunteering for long periods, 
the Government began in 1861 to offer bounties. The boun- 
ties offered by the Government were never large, however, 
and were paid in installments, so that no great evil resulted 
from them. But later, when the quota of each State and dis- 
trict was fixed, and the draft instituted, State and local 
bounties were added to those of the Government. In some 
places the bounties offered aggregated $1,500, a large part 


of which was paid on enlistment. Immediately a new class 
of military criminals sprang up, " bounty-jumpers," men 
who enlisted, drew the bounty, deserted, and reenlisted at 
some other point. 

The law allowed men who had been drafted to send substi- 
tutes, and a new class of speculators, known as " substitute- 
brokers," appeared. They did a thriving business in procur- 
ing substitutes for drafted men who, for one reason or an- 
other, did not want to go into the war. These recruits were 
frequently of a very poor class, and a large percentage of 
them took the first chance to desert. It is said that, out of 
625 recruits sent to re-enforce one regiment, over 40 per 
cent, deserted on the way. In the general report of the 
Provost-Marshal-General made at the close of the war, the 
aggregate deserting was given at 201,397. 

The result of all this was that the severest penalties were 
enforced for desertion. The President never ceased to ab- 
hor the death penalty for this offense. While he had as little 
sympathy as Stanton himself with the frauds practised and 
never commuted the sentence of a bounty- jumper, as far as 
I have been able to discover, over the great number of sen- 
tences he hesitated. He seemed to see what others ignored, 
the causes which were behind. Many and many a man de- 
serted in the winter of 1862- 1863 because of the Emancipa- 
tion Proclamation. He did not believe the President had the 
right to issue it, and he refused to fight. Lincoln knew, too, 
that the " copperhead " agitation in the North reached 
the army, and that hundreds of men were being urged by 
parents and friends hostile to the Administration to desert. 
His indignation never was against the boy who yielded to 
this influence. 

" Must I shoot a simple-minded soldier boy who deserts," 
he said, " while I must not touch a hair of a wily agitator 
who induces him to desert? This is none the less injurious 


when effected by getting a father, or brother, or friend into 
a public meeting, and there working upon his feelings until 
he is persuaded to write the soldier boy that he is fighting in 
a bad cause, for a wicked administration of a contemptible 
government, too weak to arrest and punish him if he shall 
desert. I think that in such a case, to silence the agitator, 
and save the boy, is not only constitutional, but withal a 
great mercy." 

Another cause he never forgot was that mortal homesick- 
ness which so often ate the very heart out of a boy away 
from home for the first time. It filled many a hospital cot 
in the Civil War, and shriveled the nerves and sapped the 
courage until men forgot everything but home, and fled. 
Lincoln seemed to see in a flash the whole army history of 
these cases : the boy enlisting in the thrill of perhaps his first 
great passion; his triumphal march to the field; the long, 
hard months of seasoning; the deadly longing for home 
overtaking him ; a chance to desert taken ; the capture. He 
could not condemn such a boy to death. 

The time Lincoln gave to listening to the intercessions of 
friends in behalf of condemned deserters, the extent of his 
clemency, is graphically shown in the manuscript records 
of the War Department which refer to prisoners of war. 
Scores of telegrams are filed there, written out by Lincoln 
himself, inquiring into the reasons for an execution or sus- 
pending it entirely. These telegrams, which have never been 
published, furnish the documentary proof, if any is wanted, 
of the man's great heart, his entire willingness to give him- 
self infinite trouble to prevent an injustice or to soften a 
sorrow. "' Suspend execution and forward record for exam- 
ination," was his usual formula for telegrams of this nature. 
The record would be sent, but after it was in his hands he 
would defer its examination from week to week. Often he 
telegraphed, " Suspend execution of death sentence until 


further orders." " But that does not pardon my boy," said a 
father to him once. 

" My dear man," said the President, laying his hand on 
his shoulder, " do you suppose / will ever give orders for 
your boy's execution ? " 

In sending these orders for suspension of execution, the 
President frequently went himself personally to the telegraph 
office and watched the operator send them, so afraid was he 
that they might not be forwarded in time. To dozens of the 
orders sent over from the White House by a messenger is 
attached a little note signed by Mr. Lincoln, or by one of his 
secretaries, and directed to Major Eckert, the chief of the 
office : " Major Eckert, please send above despatch," or 
" Will you please hurry off the above? To-morrow is the 
day of execution." Not infrequently he repeated a telegram 
or sent a trailer after it inquiring, " Did you receive my 
despatch suspending sentence of ?" 

Difficulty in tracing a prisoner or in identifying him some- 
times arose. The President only took additional pains. The 
following telegrams are to the point : 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, November 20, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, 
Army of Potomac. 

If there is a man by the name of K under sentence to 

be shot, please suspend execution till further order, and send 
record. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, November 20, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, 
Army of Potomac. 
An intelligent woman in deep distress called this morning, 
saying her husband, a lieutenant in the Army of the Poto- 


mac, was to be shot next Monday for desertion, and putting 
a letter in my hand, upon which I relied for particulars, she 
left without mentioning a name or other particular by which 
to identify the case. On opening the letter I found it equally 
vague, having nothing to identify it, except her own signa- 
ture, which seems to be Mrs. A S. K . I could not 

again find her. If you have a case which you think is proba- 
bly the one intended, please apply my despatch of this morn- 
ing to it. A. Lincoln. 

In another case, where the whereabouts of a man who had 
been condemned were unknown, Lincoln telegraphed him- 
self to four different military commanders, ordering suspen- 
sion of the man's sentence. 

The execution of very young soldiers was always hateful 
to him. " I am unwilling for any boy under eighteen to be 
shot," he telegraphed Meade in reference to one prisoner. 
And in suspending another sentence he gave as an excuse, 
" His mother says he is but seventeen." This boy he after- 
ward pardoned * on account of his tender age." 

If a reason for pardoning was not evident, he was willing 
to see if one could not be found : 

S W , private in , writes that he is to 

be shot for desertion on the 6th instant. His own story is 
rather a bad one, and yet he tells it so frankly, that I am 
somewhat interested in him. Has he been a good soldier 
except the desertion ? About how old is he ? 

A. Lincoln. 

Some of the deserters came very close to his own life. 
The son of more than one old friend was condemned for a 
military offense in the war, and in the telegrams is recorded 
Lincoln's treatment of these trying cases. In one of them 
the boy had enlisted in the Southern Army and had been 
taken a prisoner. " Please send him to me by an officer," the 
President telegraphed the military commander having him 
in charge. Four days later he telegraphed to the boy's father: 


Your son has just left me with my order to the Sec- 
retary of War to administer to him the oath of allegiance, 
discharge him and send him to you. 

In another case, where the son of a friend was under trial 
for desertion, Lincoln kept himself informed of the trial, 
telegraphing to the general in charge, " He is the son of so 
close a friend that I must not let him be executed.' , 

And yet, in spite of the evident reluctance which every 
telegram shows to allowing the execution of a death sen- 
tence, there are many which prove that, unless he had what 
he considered a good reason for suspending a sentence, he 
would not do it. The following telegrams are illustrative : 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, November 23, 1863. 

£. P. Evans, 

West Union, Adams County, Ohio. 

Yours to Governor Chase in behalf of J A. W— 

is before me. Can there be a worse case than to desert, and 
with letters persuading others to desert ? I cannot interpose 
without a better showing than you make. When did he de- 
sert? When did he write the letters? A. Lincoln. 

In this case sentence was later suspended " until further 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, April 21, 1864. 

Major-General Dix, 

New York. 
Yesterday I was induced to telegraph the officer in mili- 
tary command at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, Massachu- 
setts, suspending the execution of C C , to be ex- 
ecuted to-morrow for desertion. Just now, on reading your 
order in the case, I telegraphed the same order withdrawing 


the suspension, and leaving the case entirely with you. 
man's friends are pressing me, but I refer them to you, in* 
tending to take no further action myself. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, City, April 25, 1864. 

Major-General Meade, 
Army of Potomac. 
A Mr. Corby brought you a note from me at the foot of 

a petition, I believe, in the case of D , to be executed 

to-day. The record has been examined here, and it shows 
too strong a case for a pardon or commutation, unless there 
is something in the poor man's favor outside of the record, 
which you on the ground may know, but I do not. My note 
to you only means that if you know of any such thing ren- 
dering a suspension of the execution proper, on your own 
judgment, you are at liberty to suspend it. Otherwise I do 
not interfere. A. Lincoln. 

It is curious to note how the President found time to at- 
tend to these cases even on the most anxious days of his ad- 
ministration. On the very day on which he telegraphed to 
James G. Blaine in response to the latter's announcement 
that Maine had gone for the Union, " On behalf of the 
Union, thanks to Maine. Thanks to you personally for 
sending the news," he sent two telegrams suspending sen- 
tences. Such telegrams were sent on days of great battles, 
in the midst of victory, in the despair of defeat. Whatever 
he was doing, the fate of the sentenced soldier was on his 
heart. On Friday, which was usually chosen as execution 
day, he often was heard to say, " They are shooting a boy 

at to-day. I hope I have not done wrong to allow it." 

In spite of his frequent interference, there were 267 men ex- 
ecuted by the United States military authorities during the 
Civil War. Of these, 141 were executed for desertion, and 


eight for desertion coupled with some other crime, such as 
murder. After those for desertion, the largest number of 
executions were for murder, sixty-seven in all. As to the 
manner of the executions, one hundred and eighty-seven 
were shot, seventy-nine hung, and in one case the offender 
was sent out of the world by some unknown way. 

Incidents and documents like those already given, show- 
ing the care and the sympathy President Lincoln felt for 
the common soldier, might be multiplied indefinitely. Noth- 
ing that concerned the life of the men in the line was foreign 
to him. The man might have shown cowardice. The 
President only said, *' I never felt sure but I might drop 
my gun and run away if I found myself in line of battle." 
The man might be poor and friendless. " If he has no 
friends, I'll be his friend," Lincoln said. The man might 
have deserted. " Suspend execution, send me his record," 
was the President's order. He was not only the Com- 
mander-in-chief of all the armies of the United States, he 
was the father of the army, and never did a man better de- 
serve a title than did he the one the soldiers gave him — 
" Father Abraham." 

Lincoln's re-election in 1864 

It was not until the fall of 1863 that Abraham Lincoln 
was able to point to any substantial results from the long 
months of hard thought and cautious experiment he had 
given to the Civil War. By that time he did have something 
to show. The borders of the Confederacy had been pressed 
back and shut in by an impregnable wall of ships and men. 
\ T ot only were the borders of the Confederacy narrowed ; the 
territory had been cut in two by the opening of the Missis- 
sippi, which, in Lincoln's expressive phrase, now ran " un- 
vexed to the sea." He had a war machine at last which kept 
the ranks of the army full. He had found a commander-in- 
chief in Grant; and, not less important, he had found, 
simultaneously with Grant, also Sherman, McPherson, and 
Thomas, as well as the proper places for the men with 
whom he had tried such costly experiments — for Burn- 
side and Hooker. He had his first effective results, too, 
from emancipation, that policy which he had inaugurated 
with such foreboding. Fully 100,000 former slaves were 
now in the United States service, and they had proved be- 
yond question their value as soldiers. More than this, it was 
evident that some form of emancipation would soon be 
adopted by the former slave States of Tennessee, Arkansas, 
Maryland, and Missouri. 

At every point, in short, the policy which Lincoln had set 
in motion with painful foresight and labor was working as 
he had believed it would work, but it was working slowly. 
He saw that many months of struggle and blood and pa- 



iience were needed to complete his task ; many months — and 
in less than a year there would be a presidential election, and 
he might be obliged to leave his task unfinished. He did not 
hesitate to say frankly that he wanted the opportunity to 
finish it. Among the leaders of the Republican party were a 
few conservatives who, in the fall of 1863, supported Lin- 
coln in his desire for a second term; but there were more 
who doubted his ability and who were secretly looking for 
an abler man. At the same time, a strong and open opposi- 
tion to his re-election had developed in the radical wing of 
the party. 

The real cause of this opposition was Lincoln's unswerv- 
able purpose to use emancipation purely as a military meas- 
ure. The earliest active form this opposition took was prob- 
ably under the direction of Horace Greeley. In the spring 
of 1863, Mr. Greeley had become thoroughly disheartened 
by the slow progress of the war and the meager results of 
the Emancipation Proclamation. He was looking in every 
direction for some one to replace Lincoln, and eventually 
he settled on General Rosecrans, who at that moment was 
the most successful general before the country. Greeley, 
after consulting with a number of Republican leaders, de- 
cided that some one should go to Rosecrans and sound him. 
James R. Gilmore (" Edmund Kirke ") was chosen for this 
mission. Mr. Gilmore recounts, in his " Personal Recollec- 
tions of Abraham Lincoln/' as an evidence of the extent of 
the discontent with Lincoln, that when he started on his 
mission, Mr. Greeley gave him letters to Rosecrans from 
about all the more prominent Republican leaders except Ros- 
coe Conkling, Charles Sumner, and Henry Wilson. 

Mr. Greeley's idea was, as he instructed Mr, Gilmore, to 
find out, first, if Rosecrans was u sound on the goose " (po- 
litical slang: for sound on the anti-slavery policy), and, sec- 
ondly, if he would consider the nomination to the presi- 


dency. If Mr. Gilmore found Rosecrans satisfactory, 
Greeley declared that he would force Lincoln to resign, put 
Hamlin in his place, and compel the latter to give Rosecrans 
the command of the whole army. His idea was, no doubt, 
that the war would then be finished promptly and Rosecrans 
would naturally be the candidate in 1864. 

Mr. Gilmore went on his mission. Rosecrans seemed to 
him to fulfil Mr. Greeley's ideas, and finally he laid the case 
before him. The General replied very promptly : " My place 
is here. The country gave me my education, and so has a 
right to my military services." He also declared that Mr. 
Greeley was wrong in his estimate of Lincoln and that 
time would show it. 

Lincoln knew thoroughly the feeling of the radicals at 
this time; he knew the danger there was to his hopes of a 
second term in opposing them ; but he could be neither per- 
suaded nor frightened into modifying his policy. The most 
conspicuous example of his firmness was in the case of the 
Missouri radicals. 

The radical party in Missouri was composed of men of 
great intelligence and perfect loyalty ; but they were men of 
the Fremont type, idealists, incapable of compromise and 
impatient of caution. They had been in constant conflict 
with the conservatives of the State since the breaking out of 
the war, and by the spring of 1863, the rupture had become 
almost a national affair. Both sides claimed to be Union 
men and to believe in emancipation ; but while the conserva- 
tives believed in gradual emancipation, the radicals de- 
manded that it be immediate. The fight became so bitter 
that, as Lincoln said to one of the radicals who came to 
him early in 1863, begging his interference: " Either party 
would rather see the defeat of their adversary than that of 
Jefferson Davis. You ought to have your heads knocked to- 
gether," he added in his exasperation. 


Finally, he determined that he must break up somehow 
what he called their " pestilent, factional quarrel," and sent 
a new military governor, General J. M. Schofield, to Mis- 
souri. The advice he gave him was this: 

Let your military measures be strong enough to repel the 
invader and keep the peace, and not so strong as to unneces- 
sarily harass and persecute the people. It is a difficult role, 
and so much greater will be the honor if you perform it well. 
If both factions, or neither, shall abuse you, you will prob- 
ably be about right. Beware of being assailed by one and 
praised by the other. 

General Schofield was not able to live up to Lincoln's 
counsel. He incurred the suspicion and dislike of the radi- 
cals, and they determined that he must be removed. Sep- 
tember 1, a great convention was held, and a committee of 
seventy persons was appointed to go to Washington and de- 
mand from Mr. Lincoln a redress of grievances. The con- 
vention of course had the sympathy of the radical anti-sla- 
very element of the whole North in its undertaking, and 
when the Committee of Seventy started for Washington they 
received an ovation in almost every State through which they 
passed. Arrived in Washington, they became the centre of 
the town's interest, and a great reception was given them in 
Union League Hall, at which eminent men denounced the 
conservatives of Missouri and demanded immediate emanci- 

Mr. Lincoln did not receive the Committee at once but 
sent for their Secretary, Dr. Emil Preetorius, a leading Ger- 
man Radical. Mr. Preetorius says : 

"In response to a request from the President himself I 
immediately, in company with Senator ' Jim ' Lane, called 
at the White House. Mr. Lane soon excused himself and left 
me alone with the President. I had a long taik with him, 


explaining the situation in Missouri, as we Radicals viewed 
it, and stating just why we had come to Washington. We 
Germans had not felt so kindly toward Mr. Lincoln since 
he had set aside Fremont's proclamation of emancipation. 
We thought he had missed a great opportunity and had 
thereby displayed a lack of statesmanship. We believed him 
to be under the influence of the Blair family. Now that he 
himself had issued an emancipation proclamation we felt 
wronged because it applied only to the States in rebellion, 
and not to our own State. * Thus/ I said to the President, 
' you are really punishing us for our courage and patriot- 
ism.' We felt, as Gratz Brown expressed it, that we had to 
fight three administrations — Lincoln's, Jeff Davis's, and our 
own Governor Gamble's. We felt that we had a right to 
complain because Lincoln sent out to Missouri generals that 
were not in sympathy with us. 

" Our talk was of the very frankest kind. Lincoln said 
he knew I was a German revolutionist and expected me to 
take extreme views. I recollect distinctly his statement that 
he would rather be a follower than a leader of public opinion. 
He had reference to public opinion in the Border States. 
* We need the Border States,' said he. ' Public opinion in 
them has not matured. We must patiently educate them up 
to the right opinion.' The situation at that time was less 
favorable in the other Border States than in Missouri. Their 
Union men had not the strong fighters that Missouri had. 
As things were then going, the attitude of the Border States 
was of the very highest importance. I could realize that the 
more fully as Lincoln argued the case." 

An arrangement was made for the President to receive 
the committee on September 30 and hear their statement 
of grievances. The imposing procession of delegates went 
to the White House at nine o'clock in the morning. At the 
Committee's own request, all reporters and spectators were 
refused admission to the audience, only the President and 
one of his secretaries meeting them. Even the great front 
doors of the White House were locked during the forenoon. 

The conference began by the reading of an address which 


denounced the conservative party, and demanded that Gen- 
eral Schofield be removed and General Benjamin F. Butler 
be put in his place, and that the enrolled militia of the State 
be discharged and national troops replace them. 

After the reading of the address, the President replied. 
Mr. Enos Clarke of St. Louis, who was one of the delegates, 
records the impression this reply made upon his mind : 

" The President listened with patient attention to our ad- 
dress," says Mr. Clarke, " and at the conclusion of the read- 
ing replied at length. I shall never forget the intense chagrin 
and disappointment we all felt at the treatment of the matter 
in the beginning of his reply. He seemed to belittle and min- 
imize the importance of our grievances and to give magni- 
tude to minor or unimportant matters. He gave us the im- 
pression of a pettifogger speaking before a justice of the 
peace jury. But as he talked on and made searching in- 
quiries of members of the delegation and invited debate, it 
became manifest that his manner at the beginning was really 
the foil of a master, to develop the weakness of the presenta- 
tion. Before the conclusion of the conference, he addressed 
himself to the whole matter in an elevated, dignified, exhaus- 
tive, and impressive manner. 

"There was no report made of this conference, but I 
remember that Mr. Lincoln made this statement : ' You 
gentlemen must bear in mind that in performing the duties 
of the office I hold I must represent no one section of the 
Union, but I must act for all sections of the Union in trying 
to maintain the supremacy of the government.' And he also 
said this : ' I desire to so conduct the affairs of this Admin- 
istration that if, at the end, when I come to lay down the 
reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall 
at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down in- 
side of me.' These were characteristic expressions. 

" Toward the conclusion of the conference and after the 
whole matter had been exhaustively discussed by the Presi- 
dent and the petitioners, Mr. C. D. Drake, our chairman, 
stepped forward and said : ' Mr. President, the time has now 
come when we can no longer trespass upon your attention. 


but must take leave of you ; ' and in those deep, impressive* 
stentorian tones peculiar to Mr. Drake, he added, ' Many of 
these men who stand before you to-day return to inhospit- 
able homes, where rebel sentiments prevail, and many of 
them, sir, in returning there do so at the risk of their lives, 
and if any of those lives are sacrificed by reason of the mili- 
tary administration of this government, let me tell you, sir, 
that their blood will be upon your garments and not upon 

" During this impressive address the President stood be- 
fore the delegation with tears streaming down his cheeks, 
seeming deeply agitated. 

" The members of the delegation were then presented in- 
dividually to the President and took leave of him. I shall 
always remember my last sight of Mr. Lincoln as we left the 
room. I was withdrawing, in company with others, and as 
I passed out I chanced to look back. Mr. Lincoln had met 
some personal acquaintances with whom he was exchanging 
pleasantries, and instead of the tears of a few moments be- 
fore, he was indulging in hearty laughter. This rapid and 
wonderful transition from one extreme to the other im- 
pressed me greatly." 

Ex-Governor Johnson of Missouri, another member of 
the committee, says of Lincoln's reply to their address : 

The President in the course of his reply hesitated a great 
deal and was manifestly, as he said, very much troubled over 
the condition of affairs in Missouri. He said he was sorry 
there should be such divisions and dissensions; that they 
were a source of more anxiety to him than we could imagine. 
He expressed his appreciation of the zeal of the radical men, 
but sometimes thought they did not understand the real sit- 
uation. He besought us not to get out of humor because 
things were not going as rapidly as we thought they should. 
The war, he pointed out, affected a much larger territory 
than that embraced within the borders of Missouri, and 
possibly he had better opportunities of judging of things 
than some of us gentlemen. He spoke with great kindness, 
but all the way through showed his profound regret at the 


condition of affairs in our State. He regretted especially 
that some of the men who had founded the Republican party 
should now be arrayed apparently against his administra- 

" I had met Mr. Lincoln twice before then. This time he 
appeared different from what he had on the two former oc- 
casions. There was a perplexed look on his face. When he 
said he was bothered about this thing, he showed it. He 
spoke kindly, yet now and then there was a little rasping 
tone in his voice that seemed to say : * You men ought to fix 
this thing up without tormenting me/ But he never lost his 

One of Mr. Lincoln's secretaries was present at this con- 
ference and made notes on Mr. Lincoln's answer to the 
delegation. The following sentences quoted from these 
notes in Nicolay and Hay's " Abraham Lincoln " show still 
further how plainly the President dealt with the committee : 

" Your ideas of justice seem to depend on the application 
of it." 

" When you see a man loyally in favor of the Union — 
willing to vote men and money — spending his time and 
money and throwing his influence into the recruitment of 
our armies, I think it ungenerous, unjust, and impolitic to 
make views on abstract political questions a test of his loy- 
alty. I will not be a party to this application of a pocket in- 

" You appear to come before me as my friends, if I agree 
with you, and not otherwise. I do not here speak of mere per- 
sonal friendship. When I speak of my friends I mean those 
who are friendly to my measures, to the policy of the Gov- 
ernment. I am well aware that by many, by some even 
among this delegation — I shall not name them — I have been 
in public speeches and in printed documents charged with 
* tyranny and wilfulness/ with a disposition to make my 
own personal will supreme. I do not intend to be a tyrant. 
At all events I shall take care that in my own eyes I do not 
become one." 


Mr. Lincoln then sent the committee away, promising to 
reply by letter to their address. The events of the next day 
showed him more plainly than ever what a following they 
had. The night after the conference, Secretary Chase gave 
them a great reception at his house. He did not hesi- 
tate to say, in the course of the evening, that he was heartily 
in sympathy with their mission and that he hoped their 
military department would be entrusted to a gentleman 
whose motto was " Freedom for all." Going on to New 
York, the committee were given a great and enthusiastic 
meeting at Cooper Union: William Cullen Bryant made a 
sympathetic speech, and various members of the committee 
indulged in violent denunciations of the conservative ele- 
ment of the country, and did not hesitate to threaten Mr. 
Lincoln with revolutionary action if he did not yield to 
their demands. 

Mr. Lincoln of course was not insensible to the political 
power of the Missouri radicals. He knew that this was a 
test case. He knew that they made their issue at a critical 
time for him, it being the eve of the fall elections. So im- 
portant did his supporters consider it that he do something 
to pacify radical sentiment that Mr. Leonard Swett, one of 
his most intimate friends, and one heartily in sympathy with 
his policy, urged him, one day in October, to take a more 
advanced position and recommend in his annual message a 
constitutional amendment abolishing slavery: 

Turning to me suddenly, he said, " Is not the question of 
emancipation doing well enough now?" I replied it was. 
" Well," said he, " I have never done an official act with a 
view to promote my own personal aggrandizement, and I 
don't like to begin now. I can see that emancipation is 
coming ; whoever can wait for it will see it ; whoever stands 
in its way will be run over by it." 

In spite of the pressure and threats of the Committee erf 


Seventy, Lincoln, when he answered their letter on October 
5, yielded to none of their demands. He would not re- 
move General Schofield. He would not discharge the en- 
rolled militia. 

He repeated that they were acting as factionists, declared 
that they had failed to convince him that General Schofield 
and the enrolled militia which they charged caused the suf- 
fering of the Union party in the State were responsible, and 
in a few remarkable paragraphs described what in his 
opinion was the cause of the trouble in Missouri : 

We are in civil war. In such cases there always is a 
main question ; but in this case that question is a perplexing 
compound — Union and slavery. It thus becomes a question 
not of two sides merely, but of at least four sides, even among 
those who are for the Union, saying nothing of those who are 
against it. Thus, those who are for the Union with, but not 
without slavery — those for it without, but not with — those for 
it with or without, but prefer it with — and those for it with 
or without, but prefer it without. 

Among these again is a subdivision of those who are 
for gradual, but not for immediate, and those who are for 
immediate, but not for gradual extinction of slavery. It is 
easy to conceive that all these shades of opinion, and even 
more, may be sincerely entertained by honest and truthful 
men. Yet, all being for the Union, by reason of these differ- 
ences each will prefer a different way of sustaining the 
Union. At once sincerity is questioned and motives are as- 
sailed. Actual war coming, blood grows hot, and blood is 
spilled. Thought is forced from old channels into confusion. 
Deception breeds and thrives. Confidence dies and 
universal suspicion reigns. Each man feels an impulse 
to kill his neighbor, lest he be first killed by him. Revenge 
and retaliation follow. And all this, as before said, may 
be amongst honest men only; but this is not all. Every 
foul bird comes abroad and every dirty reptile rises up. 
These add crime to confusion. Strong measures deemed 
indispensable, but harsh at best, such men make worse 
by maladministration. Murders for old grudges, and mur- 


ders for pelf, proceed under any cloak that will best cover 
for the occasion. These causes amply account for what has 
occurred in Missouri, without ascribing it to the weakness or 
wickedness of any general. 

He closed his letter refusing their requests with a few of 
those resolute sentences of which he was capable when he 
had made up his mind to do a thing in spite of all opposition : 

I do not feel justified to enter upon the broad field you 
present in regard to the political differences between 
Radicals and Conservatives. From time to time I have 
done and said what appeared to me proper to do and say. 
The public knows it all. It obliged nobody to follow me, 
and I trust it obliges me to follow nobody. The Radicals 
and Conservatives each agree with me in some things and 
disagree in others. I could wish both to agree with me in all 
things, for then they would agree with each other and 
would be too strong for any foe from any quarter. They, 
however, choose to do otherwise ; and I do not question their 
right. I too shall do what seems to be my duty. I hold 
whoever commands in Missouri or elsewhere responsible to 
me and not to either Radicals or Conservatives. It is my 
duty to bear all, but at last I must within my sphere, judge 
what to do and what to forbear. 

There was no mistaking this letter of Lincoln. It told 
the radicals not only of Missouri, but of the whole North, 
that the President was not to be moved from his emancipa- 
tion policy. 

Another complaint which many Republicans as well as all 
Democrats made against Mr. Lincoln in 1864, was his inter- 
pretation of what constituted treason against the govern- 
ment. Their dissatisfaction culminated in what is known as 
the Vallandigham case. Mr. Vallandigham was an Ohio 
Democrat of the Copperhead variety who, from the begin- 
ning had opposed the war, although declaring himself for the 
Union. In the spring of 1863 his attacks on the administra 


Hon were particularly virulent. He accused the government 
of not being willing to meet the Confederacy and arrange a 
peace, of being unconstitutional in enforcing the draft and of 
making arbitrary military arrests and imprisonments. The 
party which he represented seemed to be growing in influence 
every day, and it was known that the efficiency of the army in 
the winter of 1862-63 had been seriously undermined by the 
influence of the Copperhead element at home. Mr. Lincoln 
was opposed to noticing any opposition of this kind unless 
driven to it, but not all of his subordinates felt the same 
way. Some of the generals in the army were especially in- 
censed by it, among them General Burnside, then at the 
head of the Department of the Ohio, who, on April 13, 
1863, issued an order in which he said: 

" The habit of declaring sympathies for the enemy will 
not be allowed in this department. Persons committing 
such offenses will be at once arrested with a view to being 
tried as above stated or sent beyond our lines into the lines 
of their friends. 

" It must be distinctly understood that treason expressed 
or implied will not be tolerated in this department. ,, 

Mr. Vallandigham was angered by this order and in public 
addresses declared it a " base usurpation of arbitrary author- 
ity," which he should resist. General Burnside retaliated 
by ordering Vallandigham's arrest at Dayton, Ohio, after a 
public address in which he had declared among other things 
that the present war was a " wicked, cruel and unnecessary 
war; " "a war not being waged for the preservation of the 
Union; " " a war for the purpose of crushing out liberty and 
erecting a despotism; " " a war for the freedom of the blacks 
and the enslavement of the white;" stating " that if the Ad- 
ministration had so wished the war could have been honor- 
ably terminated months ago ; " that " peace miefht have been 


honorably obtained by listening to the proposed intermedial 
tion of France," etc., etc. 

Vallandigham was tried soon after arrest by a military 
commission, pronounced guilty and sentenced to " close con- 
finement in some fortress of the United States." The arrest, 
the trial by military instead of by civil court, the sentence, 
aroused a tremendous outcry throughout the country. The 
best newspapers, including the New York " Evening Post " 
and the New York " Tribune " condemned the government. 
Protests and applications for his release poured in upon the 

It is probable that Mr. Lincoln regretted the arrest of Val- 
landigham, for he wrote Burnside afterward: "All the 

Cabinet regret the necessity of arresting 

Vallandigham, some perhaps doubting there was a real 
necessity for it; but, being done, all were for seeing you 
through with it." Lincoln had, however, no idea of releas- 
ing Vallandigham. His one concern was to prevent the 
prisoner appearing to the country as a martyr for liberty, 
the victim of tyranny, and, taking the hint from Burn- 
side's order he directed that " the prisoner be put beyond 
our military lines," that is, that he be sent over to the Con- 
federates. General Burnside objected to this. His earnest- 
ness had so blinded his sense of humor that he did not see 
that this disposition of the prisoner would take away much 
of the sympathy and dignity which must always attend the 
tragedy of close confinement. Mr. Lincoln insisted, and 
finally Vallandigham, attended only by a military escort, 
was secretly conducted under a flag of truce within the lines 
of the Confederate general, Braxton Bragg. 

There was nothing heroic about this turn in the affair. 
Vallandigham protested vehemently that he was not a sym- 
pathizer of the South, that he was for the Union. The Con- 
federates were as disgusted as the prisoner. Mr. Lincoln, 


they said to one another, intends to make a Botany Bay of 
the Confederacy. The Confederate Secretary of War wrote 
General Bragg in a rather irritable tone that it was clearly an 
abuse of the flag of truce to employ it to cover a guard over 
expelled citizens, non-combatants. An old friend of Val- 
landigham in Virginia offered the government to give him a 
home if he desired to remain in the Confederacy, but both 
Vallandigham and the Confederates saw the absurdity of the 
situation and desired only that it be changed as quickly as pos- 
sible. Considerable correspondence passed between the pris- 
oner and the authorities with the result that on June 2, Jeffer- 
son Davis ordered General Bragg to send Vallandigham, 
as an alien enemy, under guard of an officer, to Wilmington, 
and the Secretary of War wrote to the commissioner hav- 
ing the prisoner in charge, the following directions : 

It is not the desire or purpose of this govern- 
ment to treat this victim of unjust and arbitrary power with 
other than lenity and consideration, but as an alien enemy he 
cannot be received to friendly hospitality or allowed a con- 
tinued refuge in freedom in our midst. This is due alike 
to our safety and to him in his acknowledged position as an 
enemy. You have therefore been charged with the duty, 
not inappropriate to the commission you hold in relation to 
prisoners, etc., of meeting him in Lynchburg, and there as- 
suming direction and control of his future movements. He 
must be regarded by you as under arrest, permitted, unless 
in your discretion you deem it necessary to revoke the privi- 
lege to be at large on his parole not to attempt to escape nor 
hereafter to reveal to the prejudice of the Confederate States 
anything he may see or learn while therein. You will see 
that he is not molested or assailed or unduly intruded upon, 
and extend to him the attentions and kind treatment consist- 
ent with his relations as an alien enemy. After a reason- 
able delay with him at Lynchburg, to allow rest and recrea- 
tion from the fatigues of his recent exposure and travel, you 
will proceed with him to Wilmington, N. C, and there de- 


liver him to the charge of Major-General Whiting, com- 
manding in that district, by whom he will be allowed at an 
early convenient opportunity to take shipping for any neutral 
port he may prefer, whether in Europe, the Islands, or on 
this Continent. More full instructions on this point will be 
given to General Whiting, and your duty will be discharged 
when you shall have conducted Mr. Vallandigham to Wil- 
mington and placed him at the disposition of that com- 

These directions were carried out and Vallandigham 
sailed for Bermuda and thence for Halifax. August 27 the 
Provost-Marshal-General was notified that he was at Wind- 
sor, opposite Detroit. 

Although Lincoln, by his adroit disposition of Vallandig- 
ham had taken much of the dignity out of his position, his 
supporters were determined to make the matter an issue, 
and on May 19 the New York Democrats, and again on 
June 26, the Ohio Democrats, while urging their loyalty to 
the Union protested against the arrest, and called upon the 
President to restore the exile to his home. Such arrests and 
trials as his were, they declared, contrary to the Constitu- 
tion, a violation of the right of free speech and the right 
to a fair trial. On June 12 and June 29, Lincoln replied 
respectively to these protests in a couple of letters in which 
he defended his course. Only the briefest extract can be 
given here, but they show the clearness and boldness of his 

The resolutions promise to support me in 
every constitutional and lawful measure to suppress the re- 
bellion; and I have not knowingly employed, nor shall 
knowingly employ, any other. But the meeting, by their 
resolutions assert and argue that certain military arrests, and 
proceedings following them, for which I am ultimately re- 
sponsible, are unconstitutional. I think they are not 


" . . . he who dissuades one man from volunteering, 
or induces one soldier to desert, weakens the Union cause 
as much as he who kills a Union soldier in battle. Yet this 
dissuasion or inducement may be so conducted as to be no 
defined crime of which any civil court would take cogni-r 

" Ours is a case of rebellion — so called by the resolutions 
before me — in fact, a clear, flagrant, and gigantic case of 
rebellion ; and the provision of the Constitution that, ' the 
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended 
unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public 
safety may require it,' is the. provision which specially ap- 
plies to our present case. 

■ •«••••• 

" Mr. Vallandigham avows his hostility to the war on the 
part of the Union ; and his arrest was made because he was 
laboring, with some effect, to prevent the raising of troops, 
to encourage desertions from the army, and to leave the re- 
bellion without an adequate military force to suppress it. 
He was not arrested because he was damaging the political 
prospects of the administration or the personal interests of 
the commanding general, but because he was damaging the 
army, upon the existence and vigor of which the life of the 
nation depends. He was warring upon the military, and 
this gave the military constitutional jurisdiction to lay 
hands upon him. If Mr. Vallandingham was not damaging 
the military power of the country, then his arrest was made 
on mistake of fact, which I would be glad to correct on rea- 
sonably satisfactory evidence. 

" I understand the meeting whose resolutions I am con- 
sidering to be in favor of suppressing the rebellion by mili- 
tary force — by armies. Long experience has shown that 
armies cannot be maintained unless desertion shall be pun- 
ished by the severe penalty of death. The case requires, and 
the law and the Constitution sanction, this punishment. 

" If I be wrong on this question of constitutional power, 
my error lies in believing that certain proceedings are con- 
stitutional when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public 


safety requires them, which would not be constitutional 
when, in absence of rebellion or invasion, the public safety 
does not require them; in other words, that the Constitu- 
tion is not in its application in all respects the same in cases 
of rebellion or invasion involving the public safety, as it is 
in times of profound peace and public security. The Con- 
stitution itself makes the distinction, and I can no more be 
persuaded that the government can constitutionally take no 
strong measures in time of rebellion, because it can be shown 
that the same could not be lawfully taken in time of peace, 
than I can be persuaded that a particular drug is not good 
medicine for a sick man because it can be shown to not be 
good food for a well one. Nor am I able to appreciate the 
danger apprehended by the meeting, that the American peo- 
ple will by means of military arrests during the rebellion lose 
the right of public discussion, the liberty of speech and the 
press, the law of evidence, trial by jury, and habeas corpus 
throughout the indefinite peaceful future which I trust lies 
before them, any more than I am able to believe that a man 
could contract so strong an appetite for emetics during tem- 
porary illness as to persist in feeding upon them during the 
remainder of his healthful life." 

The Democrats called the letter despotic, but the people 
saw the sound sense of the arguments, and when in the fall 
Vallandigham, still in exile, was run for Governor of Ohio, 
he was defeated by over 100,000 votes. When a few months 
later he dared the President, came back and began to make 
violent speeches, no attention was paid to him. The right 
of the President to suppress any man who hurt the army and 
thus the Union cause was clearly fixed in the people's mind. 
If anybody wavered, Lincoln's letters were brought out. 
Vallandigham henceforth rather helped than injured the 

The first effect of Lincoln's resolution in enforcing his 
own policy was to stimulate the search his opponents were 
making for a man to put in his place. At that time — the 
fall of 1863 — Grant was the military here ->f the country, 


and his name began to be urged for the Presidency. Now 
Lincoln had never seen Grant. Was he a man whose head 
could be turned by a sudden notoriety? Could it be that, 
just as he had found the commander for whom he had 
searched so long, he was to lose him through a burst of 
popular gratitude and hero-worship? He decided to find 
out Grant's feeling. He did this through Mr. J. Russell 
Jones of Chicago, a friend of the General. 

" In 1863," says Mr. Jones, " some of the newspapers, 
especially the New York ' Herald,' were trying to boom 
Grant for the Presidency.* While General Grant was at 
Chattanooga, I wrote him, in substance, that I did not wish 
to meddle with his affairs, but that I could not resist suggest- 
ing that he pay no attention to what the newspapers were 
saying in that connection. He immediately replied, saying 
that everything of that nature which reached him went into 
the waste-basket; that he felt he had as big a job on hand as 
one man need desire ; that his only ambition was to suppress 
the rebellion ; and that, even if he had a desire to be Presi- 
dent, he could not possibly entertain the thought of becoming 
a candidate for the office, nor of accepting a nomination were 
one tendered him, so long as there was a possibility of keep- 
ing Mr. Lincoln in the presidential chair. The whole spirit 
of his letter was one of the most perfect devotion to Lin- 

" Before this letter reached me, however, President Lin- 
coln telegraphed me to come to Washington. The telegram 
gave no hint of the business upon which he wished to see me, 
and I had no information upon which to found even a sus- 
picion of its nature. On my way to the train I stopped at 
my office, in the postoffice building, and in passing my box 
in the postoffice I opened it and took out several letters. I 
put them into my pocket, and did not look at them until after 
I had gotten aboard the train. I then discovered that one of 
the letters was from General Grant ; it was the letter of which 

*The "Herald" published its first editorial advocating Grant on 
December is, 1863. It was headed. " Grant as the People's Candidate." 


I have already spoken. The circumstance has always seemed 
to me to have been providential. 

" Upon my arrival at Washington, I sent word to the 
President that I had arrived and would be glad to call when- 
ever it was most convenient and agreeable for him to receive 
me. He sent back a request for me to call that evening at 
eight o'clock. I went to the White House at that hour. 

" When the President had gotten through with the per- 
sons with whom he was engaged, I was invited into his 
room. The President then gave directions to say to all that 
he was engaged for the evening. Mr. Lincoln opened the 
conversation by saying that he was anxious to see somebody 
from the West with whom he could talk upon the general 
situation and had therefore sent for me. Mr. Lincoln made 
no allusion whatever to Grant. I had been there but a few 
minutes, however, when I fancied he would like to talk about 
Grant, and I interrupted him by saying : 

" 'Mr. President, if you will excuse me for interrupting 
you, I want to ask you kindly to read a letter that I got from 
my box as I was on my way to the train.' 

" Whereupon I gave him Grant's letter. He read it with 
evident interest. When he came to the part where Grant said 
that it would be impossible for him to think of the presidency 
as long as there was a possibility of retaining Mr. Lincoln in 
the office, he read no further, but arose and, approaching me, 
put his hand on my shoulder and said : 

" ' My son, you will never know how gratifying that is to 
me. No man knows, when that presidential grub gets to 
gnawing at him, just how deep it will get until he has tried 
it ; and I didn't know but what there was one gnawing at 

" The fact was that this was just what Mr. Lincoln wanted 
to know. He had said to Congressman Washburne, as I af- 
terwards ascertained : 

" ' About all I know of Grant I have got from you. I have 
never seen him. Who else besides you knows anything about 

" Washburne replied : 

" * I know very little about him. He is my townsman, but 
I never saw very much of him. The only man who really 


knows Grant is Jones. He has summered and wintered with 
him/ (This was an allusion to the winter I spent with Grant 
in Mississippi, at the time Van Dorn got into Holly 

" It was this statement of Washburne's which caused Lin- 
coln to telegraph me to come to Washington." 

But there were other names than Grant's in the mouth of 
the opposition. All through the winter of 1863- 1864, in 
fact, the great majority of the Republican leaders were dis- 
cussing different candidates. One of the men whom they 
approached was the Vice-President, Hannibal Hamlin. He 
was a man of strong anti-slavery feeling, and it was well 
known that Lincoln never had gone fast enough to suit him. 
Would he accept the candidacy ? he was asked. Mr. Hamlin 
would not listen to the suggestion. Lincoln, he said, was his 
friend. Their views were not always the same, but he be- 
lieved in Lincoln, and would not be untrue to his official re- 
lation. Not every member of the official family, however, 
had the same sense of loyalty. Indeed, before the end of 
1863, an active campaign for the nomination was being con- 
ducted by one of the members of the cabinet, Mr. Chase, 
Secretary of the Treasury. 

Mr. Chase had been a rival of Lincoln in i860. He had 
gone into the cabinet with a feeling very like that of Mr. 
Seward, that Lincoln was an inexperienced man, incapable 
of handling the situation, and that he or Mr. Seward would 
be the premier. Mr Seward soon found that Lincoln was 
the master, and he was great enough to acknowledge the su- 
premacy. But Mr. Chase was never able to realize Lincoln's 
greatness. He continued to regard him as an inferior mind, 
and seemed to believe, honestly enough, that the people 
would prefer himself as President if they could only have 
an opportunity to vote for him. All through the winter of 
1863- 1 864 he carried on a voluminous private correspond* 


ence in the interests of his nomination, and about the middle 
of the winter he consented that his name be submitted to the 
people. The first conspicuous effort to promote his can- 
didacy was a circular marked " confidential," sent out in 
February 1864, by Senator Pomeroy of Kansas, calling on 
the country to organize in behalf of Mr. Chase. The Secre- 
tary hastened to assure Mr. Lincoln that he knew nothing of 
this circular until he saw it in the newspapers, but he con- 
fessed that he had consented that his name be used as a presi- 
dential candidate, and said that if Mr. Lincoln felt that this 
impaired his usefulness as Secretary of the Treasury, he did 
not wish to continue in his position. 

Lincoln had known for many months of Mr. Chase's 
anxiety for the nomination, but he had studiously ignored 
it. He could not be persuaded by anybody to do anything 
to interrupt Mr. Chase's electioneering. Now that the Sec- 
retary had called his attention to the matter of the circular, 
however, he replied courteously, though indifferently: 

"... My knowledge of Mr. Pomeroy's letter having 
been made public came to me only the day you wrote; but I 
had, in spite of myself, known of its existence several days 
before. I have not yet read it, and I think I shall not. I 
was not shocked or surprised by the appearance of the letter, 
because I had had knowledge of Mr. Pomeroy's committee, 
and of secret issues which, I supposed came from it, and of 
secret agents who I supposed were sent out by it, for sev- 
eral weeks. I have known just as little of these things as 
my friends have allowed me to know. They bring the docu- 
ments to me, but I do not read them ; they tell me what they 
think fit to tell me, but I do not inquire for more. . . . 

" Whether you shall remain at the head of the Treasury 
Department is a question which I will not allow myself to 
consider from any standpoint other than my judgment of the 
public service, and, in that view, I do not perceive occasion 
for a change." 


Mr. Chase was free, as far as Lincoln was concerned, to 
conduct his presidential campaign from his seat in the cabi- 
net. But the Republicans of his State were not willing that 
he should do so, and three days after the Pomeroy circular 
first appeared in print, the Union members of the legislature 
demanded, in the name of the people and of the soldiers of 
Ohio, that Lincoln be renominated. There was nothing to 
do then but for Mr. Chase to withdraw. 

Indeed, it was already becoming evident to Lincoln's most 
determined antagonists in the party that it would be useless 
for them to try to nominate anybody else. On all sides — in 
State legislatures, Union leagues, caucuses — the people were 
demanding that Lincoln be renominated. The case was a 
curious one. Four years before, Lincoln had been nominated 
for the Presidency of the United States because he was an 
available candidate, not from any general confidence that he 
was the best man in the Republican party for the place. 
Now, on the contrary, it was declared that he would have to 
be nominated because he had won the confidence of the 
people so completely that no candidate would have any 
chance against him. In four years he had risen from a posi- 
tion of comparative obscurity to be the most generally 
trusted man in the North. The great reason for this confi- 
dence was that the people understood exactly what he was 
trying to do and why he was trying to do it. From the be- 
ginning of his Administration, in fact, Lincoln had taken 
the people into his confidence. Whenever a strong opposi- 
tion to his policy developed in any quarter, it was his habit 
to explain in a public letter exactly why he was doing what 
he was doing, and why he was not doing the thing he was 
urged to do. He had written such a letter to Greeley in 
August, 1862, explaining his view of the relation of emanci- 
pation to the war; such were his letters in June, 1863, reply- 
ing to the Democrats of New York and Ohio who protested 


against the arrest of Vallandigham for treasonable speech; 
such his letter to James C. Conkling in August, 1863, ex- 
plaining his views of peace, of emancipation, of colored 
troops. These public letters are Lincoln's most remarkable 
state papers. They are invincible in their logic and incom- 
parable in their simplicity and lucidity of expression. By 
means of them he convinced the people of his own rigid 
mental honesty, put reasons for his actions into their mouths, 
gave them explanations which were demonstrations. They 
believed in him because he had been frank with them, and 
because he tried to make matters so clear to them, used 
words they could understand, kept the principle free from all 
non-essential and partisan considerations. 

Scarcely less important than these letters in convincing the 
people of the wisdom of his policy were Lincoln's stories and 
sayings. In February, 1864, just after the popular demand 
for his renomination began to develop, the New York 
" Evening Post " published some two columns of Lincoln's 
stories. The New York " Herald " jeered at the collection 
as the " first electioneering document " of the campaign, and 
reprinted them as a proof of the unfitness of Lincoln for the 
presidency. But jeer as it would, the " Herald " could not 
hide from its readers the wit and the philosophy of the jokes. 
Every one of them had been used to explain a point or to set- 
tle a question, and under their laughter was concealed some 
of the man's soundest reasoning. Indeed, at that very mo- 
ment the " Herald " might have seen, if it had been more dis- 
cerning, that it was a Lincoln saying going up and down the 
country that was serving as one the strongest arguments for 
his renomination, the remark that it is never best to swap 
horses in crossing a stream. Lincoln had used it in speaking 
of the danger of changing Presidents in the middle of the 
war. He might have written a long message on the value 
of experience in a national crisis, and it would have been 


meaningless to the masses; but this homely figure o. swap- 
ping horses in the middle of the stream appealed to their hu- 
mor and their common sense. It was repeated over and over 
in the newspapers of the country. It was in every man's 
mouth, and was of inestimable value in helping plain people 
to see the danger of changing Presidents while the war was 
going on. 

The Union convention was set for June. As the time ap- 
proached, Lincoln enthusiasm grew. It was fed by Grant's 
steady beating back of Lee toward Richmond. The country, 
wild with joy, cried out that before July Grant would be in 
the Confederate capital and the war would be ended. The 
opposition to Lincoln that had worked so long steadily dwin- 
dled in the face of military success, until all of which it was 
capable was a small convention in May, in Cleveland, at 
which Fremont was nominated. 

The Union convention met in June. That it would nomi- 
nate Lincoln was a foregone conclusion. " The convention 
has no candidate to choose," said the Philadelphia " Press." 
" Choice is forbidden it by the previous action of the people." 
The preliminary work of the convention, seating delegates 
and framing a platform, was rapidly disposed of. Then on 
June 8, after a skirmish about the method of nominating 
the candidates, Illinois presented the name of Abraham Lin- 
coln. A call of States was immediately taken. One after 
another they answered: Pennsylvania for Lincoln, New 
York for Lincoln, New England solid for him, Kentucky 
solid, and so on through the thirty States and Territories 
represented; only one dissenting delegation in the entire 
thirty: Missouri, whose radical Union representatives gave 
twenty-two votes for Grant. On the second reading of the 
vote this ballot was changed, so that the final vote stood 506 
for Lincoln. 

The President took his renomination calmly. " I do not 


allow myself to suppose," he said to a delegation from the 
National Union League which came to congratulate him, 
" that either the convention or the League have concluded to 
decide that I am either the greatest or best man in America, 
but rather they have concluded that it is not best to swap 
horses while crossing the river, and have further concluded 
that I am not so poor a horse that they might not make a 
botch of it trying to swap." 

The renomination of Lincoln had taken place when the 
country and the Administration were rejoicing in Grant's 
successes and still prophesying that the war was practically 
over. The developments of the next few days after the nom- 
ination put a new look on the military situation. Instead of 
entering Richmond, Grant attacked Petersburg; but before 
he could capture it the town had been so re-enforced that it 
was evident nothing but a siege could reduce it. Now the 
Army of the Potomac in its march from the Rapidan to the 
James, extending from May 4th to June 24th, had lost 
nearly 55,000 men. If Petersburg was to be besieged, it was 
clear that the army must be re-enforced, that there must be 
another draft. The President had hinted that this was pos- 
sible only a week after his nomination, in an address in Phil- 
adelphia at a sanitary fair : 

" If I shall discover," he asked, " that General Grant and 
the noble officers and men under him can be greatly facili- 
tated in their work by a sudden pouring forward of men and 
assistance, will you give them to me? Are you ready to 
march?" Cries of "yes" answered him. "Then I say, 
stand ready," he replied, " for I am watching for the 

A few days later he visited Grant, and rode the lines in 
front of Petersburg. All that he saw, all the events of the 
following days, only made it clearer to him that there must 
b# another outpouring of men. His friends besought him to 


try to get on without it. The country was growing daily 
more discouraged as it realized that its hope of speedy vic- 
tory was vain. A new draft would arouse opposition, give 
a new weapon to the Democrats, make his re-election uncer- 
tain: he could not afford it. He refused their counsels. 
" We must lose nothing even if I am defeated/' he said. " I 
am quite willing the people should understand the issue. My 
re-election will mean that the rebellion is to be crushed by 
force of arms." And on July 18, he called for 500,000 
volunteers for one, two, and three years. 

All the discontent that had been prophesied broke forth on 
this call. The awful brutality of the war came upon the 
country as never before. There was a revulsion of feeling 
against the sacrifice going on, such as had not been ex- 
perienced since the war began. All the complaints that had 
been urged against Lincoln both by radical Republicans and 
by Democrats broke out afresh. The draft was talked of as 
if it were the arbitrary freak of a tyrant. It was declared that 
Lincoln had violated constitutional rights, personal liberty, 
the liberty of the press, the rights of asylum ; that, in short, 
he had been guilty of all the abuses of a military dictator. 
Much bitter criticism was made of his treatment of peace 
overtures. It was declared that the Confederates were 
anxious to make peace, and had taken the first steps, but that 
Lincoln was so bloodthirsty that he was unwilling to use any 
means but force. Even Horace Greeley joined now in this 
criticism, though up to this summer he had stood with the 
President on the question. In May, 1864, when Congress- 
man Dawson proposed in the Senate that the North should 
" tender the olive branch of peace as an exchange for the 
sword," the " Tribune " ridiculed the idea and suggested that 
Mr. Dawson, without waiting for the House to adopt his 
resolution, should start at once on his private account for 
the camp of General Lee " with a whole cart-load of olive 


branches." " Some good may come of it," said Mr. Gree 
ley; " Mr. Dawson may possibly be treated as a spy." 

Later, when peace was proposed in the Confederate Con- 
gress, Mr. Greeley said : 

" Speaking generally, it is safe to say that if there had 
been any foundation other than the unconditional surrender 
of the ' Confederacy,' upon which to build it, we would have 
had peace long ago. But the quarrel is a mortal one .... 
there can be no peace the terms of which are not dictated and 
enforced by the Congress of the United States." 

On June 10, in answer to an attack on the administra- 
tion for refusing to allow a Confederate gun-boat to bring 
Stephens to Washington, Greeley said : 

" The naked truth lies here : Up to this hour the rebels 
have never been ready or willing to treat with our govern- 
ment on any other footing than that of independence; and 
this we have not been inclined to concede. When they (or 
we) have been beaten into a willingness to concede the vital 
matter in dispute, negotiations for r>e?,zz will be in order — 
and not till then." 

In spite of these utterances however, Mr. Greeley wavered 
in July, upon receiving from an irresponsible and officious 
individual known as " Colorado Jewett," a communication 
stating that two ambassadors of " Davis and Company " 
were in Canada with full and complete powers for a peace, 
and requesting Mr. Greeley to come immediately to Niagara, 
Taking the matter seriously he wrote the President a long 
and hysterical letter, urging that the offer be accepted, and 
some one sent to Niagara. Mr. Lincoln saw his chance to 
demonstrate to the country the futility of peace negotiations. 
He replied immediately appointing Greeley himself as an 
ambassador to meet the parties. 


I864. BY BRADY. 



" If you can find any person anywhere," he wrote, " pro* 
tessing to have any proposition of Jefferson Davis in writing 
for peace, embracing the restoration of the Union and aban- 
donment of slavery, whatever else it embraces, say to him 
he may come to me with you; and that if he really brings 
such proposition, he shall at the least have safe conduct with 
the paper (and without publicity, if he chooses) to the point 
where you shall have met him. The same if there be two or 
more persons." 

This was a turn that the editor of the " Tribune " had evi- 
dently not expected, but Mr. Lincoln insisted that he carry 
out the commission, his only conditions being the ones stated 
above, and he sent him the following paper: 

" To Whom It May Concern : Any proposition which 
embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity of the whole 
Union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes 
by and with an authority that can control the armies now at 
war against the United States, will be received and con- 
sidered by the Executive Government of the United States, 
and will be met by liberal terms on other substantial and 
collateral points, and the bearer or bearers thereof shall have 
safe conduct both ways. Abraham Lincoln." 

Mr. Greeley went to Niagara, but as it turned out the 
persons whom he had taken seriously had no authority what- 
ever from Davis, and they declared that no negotiations for 
peace were possible if Mr. Lincoln's conditions must be con- 
ceded. So the conference, which ran over a number of days, 
and which was enveloped in much mystery, fell through. At 
the end it got into the newspapers, though only a portion of 
the correspondence was published at the time. It was evi- 
dent to people of sense however, that Mr. Greeley had been 
hoodwinked. It was evident, too, that the President was 
willing to carry on peace negotiations if those points for 
which the war had been fought were yielded. All the 
effectiveness of peace cries after this, was gone. Senator 


Harlan of Iowa, who, with other Republicans, appreciated 
thoroughly the clever way in which Lincoln had disposed of 
the editor of the " Tribune," said to him one day on the ter- 
race of the White House : " Some of us think, Mr. Lincoln, 
that you didn't send a very good ambassador to Niagara." 
" Well, I'll tell you about that, Harlan," replied the Presi- 
dent, " Greeley kept abusing me for not entering into peace 


negotiations. He said he believed we could have peace if I 
would do my part and when he began to urge that I send an 
ambassador to Niagara to meet Confederate emissaries, I 
just thought I would let him go up and crack that nut for 

As July dragged on and August passed there was no break 
in the gloom. Farragut was threatening Mobile ; Sherman, 


Atlanta ; Grant, Petersburg ; but all of these three great un- 
dertakings seemed to promise nothing but a fruitless 
slaughter of men. The despair and indignation of the coun- 
try in this dreadful time all centered on Lincoln. Republi- 
cans, hopeless of reelecting him, talked of replacing him by 
another candidate. The Democrats argued that the war and 
all its woes were the direct result of his tyrannical and un- 
constitutional policy The more violent intimated that he 
should be put out 01 the way. A sign of the bitterness against 
him little noted at the moment, but sinister in the light of 
after events, was an inscription found one August morning 
written on the window of a room in a Meadville (Pennsyl- 
vania) hotel. The room had been occupied the night before 
by a favorite actor, J. Wilkes Booth. The inscription ran : 
" Abe Lincoln Departed this Life Aug. 13th, 1864, By the 
effects of Poison." 

In the dreadful uproar of discontent one cry alarmed Lin- 
coln more than all others ; this was the revival of the demand 
that Grant be presented for the presidency. It was not so 
much the fear of defeat by Grant that affected him as it was 
the dread that the campaign would be neglected if the Gen- 
eral went into politics. He concluded that he ought to sound 
Grant again. Colonel John Eaton (now General), a friend 
of Grant, was in Washington at the time and often with Mr. 
Lincoln. Referring to the efforts making to nominate 
Grant, Lincoln asked if the Colonel knew what the General 
thought of the attempt. No, the Colonel said, he didn't. 

" Well," said Lincoln, " if Grant is the great general we 
think he is, he must have some consciousness of it, and know 
that he cannot be satisfied with himself and secure the credit 
due for his great generalship if he does not finish the job." 
And he added, " I don't believe they can get him to run, ' 

The President then asked the Colonel if he could not go to 
Grant and find out for him how the General felt. Colonel 


Eaton started at once on his errand. Reaching headquarters 
and being received by the General, he worked his way to the 
subject by recounting how he had met persons recently in 
travelling who had asked him if he thought Grant could be 
induced to run against Lincoln, not as a partisan, but as a 
citizen's candidate, to save the Union. Grant brought his 
hand down emphatically on the strap arm of his camp-chair. 
" They can't do it ! They can't compel me to do it ! " 

" Have you said this to the President ? " asked Colonel 

" No," said Grant, " I have not thought it worth while to 
assure the President of my opinion. I consider it as import- 
ant for the cause that he should be elected as that the army 
should be successful in the field." 

Lincoln's friends took the situation at this period more 
seriously than he. Their alarm is graphically pictured in the 
following letter from Leonard Swett to his wife. It was 
probably written toward the end of August : 

Astor House, New York, 
Monday, , 1864. 

My Dear Wife: The fearful things in relation to the 
country have induced me to stay a week here. I go to 
Washington to-night, and can't see how I can get away from 
there before the last of the week. 

A summary of movements is as follows : 

The malicious foes of Lincoln are calling or getting up a 
Buffalo convention to supplant him. They are Sumner, 
Wade, Henry Winter Davis, Chase, Fremont, Wilson, etc. 

The Democrats are conspiring to resist the draft. We 
seized this morning three thousand pistols going to Indiana 
for distribution. The war Democrats are trying to make 
the Chicago nominee a loyal man. The peace Democrats are 
trying to get control of the Government, and through al- 
liance with Jefferson Davis, to get control of both armies 
and make universal revolution necessary. 


The most fearful things are probable. 

I am acting with Thurlow Weed, Raymond, etc., to try to 
avert. There is not much hope. 

Unless material changes can be wrought, Lincoln's elec- 
tion is beyond any possible hope. It is probably clean gone 

Lincoln himself had made up his mind that he would be 
defeated. What would be his duty then ? It was so clear to 
him, that he wrote it down on a slip of paper : 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 23, 1864. 

This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly 
probable that this administration will not be re-elected. Then 
it will be my duty to so co-operate with the President-elect 
as to save the Union between the election and the inaugura- 
tion; as he will have secured his election on such ground 
that he cannot possibly save it afterward. 


He folded the slip, and when the cabinet met, he asked 
the members to put their names on the back. What was in- 
side he did not tell them. In the incessant buffeting of his 
life he had learned that the highest moral experience of 
which a man is capable is standing clear before his own con- 
science. He laid the paper away, a compact with his con- 
science in case of defeat. 

The Democrats had deferred their national convention as 
long as possible, hoping for a military situation which would 
enable them to win the people. They could not have had a 
situation more favorable to their plans. But they miscalcu- 
lated in one vital particular. They took the despair of the 
country as a sign that peace would be welcome even at the 

* Letter loaned by Mr. Leonard Herbert Swett, of Aurora, 111. 
f M Abraham Lincoln; A History." . By Nicolay and Hay. 


cost of the Union, and they adopted a peace platform. They 
nominated on this platform a candidate vowed to war and to 
the Union, General McClellan. So unpopular was the com- 
bination that General McClellan, in accepting the nomina- 
tion, practically repudiated the platform. 

But at this moment something further interfered to save 
the Administration. Sherman captured Atlanta, and Farra- 
gut took Mobile Bay. " Sherman and Farragut," said Sew- 
ard, " have knocked the bottom out of the Chicago nomina- 
tions/' If they had not quite done that, they had at least 
given heart to Lincoln's supporters, who went to work with 
a will to secure his re-election. The following letter by 
Leonard Swett shows something of what was done : 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 8, 1864. 

My Dear Wife: There has never been an instance in 
which Providence has kindly interposed in our behalf in our 
national struggles in so marked and essential manner as in 
the recent Union victories. 

You know I had become very fearful before leaving home. 
When I arrived in New York, I found the most alarming 
depression possessing the minds of all the Republicans, 
Greeley, Beecher, Raymond, Weed; and all the small poli- 
ticians without exception utterly gave up in despair. Ray- 
mond, the chairman of the National Committee, not only 
gave up, but would do nothing. Nobody would do anything. 
There was not a man doing anything except mischief. 

A movement was organizing to make Mr. Lincoln with- 
draw or call a convention and supplant him. 

I felt it my duty to see if some action could not be inaugu- 
rated. I got Raymond, after great labor, to call the com- 
mittee at Washington three days after I would arrive here, 
and came first to see if Mr. Lincoln understood his danger 
and would help to set things in motion. He understood fully 
the danger of his position, and for once seemed anxious I 
should try to stem the tide bearing him down. When the 


committee met, they showed entire want of organization and 
had not a dollar of money. 

Maine was calling for speakers. Two men were obtained, 
and I had to advance them a hundred dollars each to go. 

The first gleam of hope was in the Chicago convention. 
The evident depression of the public caused the peace men to 
control that convention, and then, just as the public began 
to shrink from accepting it, God gave us the victory at At- 
lanta, which made the ship right itself, as a ship in a storm 
does after a great wave has nearly capsized it. 

Washburne, of Illinois, a man of great force, came, and 
he and I have been working incessantly. I have raised and 
provided one hundred thousand dollars for the canvass. 

Don't think this is for improper purposes. It is not. 
Speakers have to be paid. Documents have to be sent, and 
innumerable expenses have to be incurred. 

The Secessionists are flooding the Northwest with money. 
Voorhees and Vallandigham are arming the people there, 
and are trying to make the draft an occasion for an uprising. 
We are in the midst of conspiracies equal to the French Rev- 

I have felt it my solemn duty under these circumstances 
to stay here. I have been actuated by no other motive than 
that of trying to save our country from further dismember- 
ment and war. People from the West, and our best people, 
say if we fail now the West will surely break off and go with 
the South. Of course that would be resisted, and the re- 
sistance would bring war.* 

All through September and October the preparation for 
the November election continued. The loyal governors of 
the North, men to whom the Union cause owed much more 
than has ever been fully realized, worked incessantly. The 
great orators of the Republican party were set at work, Carl 
Schurz even giving up his opportunity in the army to take 
the platform, and many an officer and private who had in- 
fluence in their communities going home on furloughs to aid 
in electioneering. The most elaborate preparations were 
•Letter loaned by Mr. Herbert Leonard Swett of Aurora, 111. 


made for getting the vote of every man, most of the States 
allowing the soldiers to vote in the field. Where this was not 
arranged for, the War Department did its utmost to secure 
furloughs for the men. Even convalescents from the hospi- 
tals were sent home to vote. 

In this great burst of determined effort Lincoln took little 
part. The country understood, he believed, exactly what 
his election meant. It meant the preservation of the Union 
by force. It meant that he would draft men so long 
as he needed them; that he would suspend the writ of 
habeas corpus, and employ a military tribunal, whenever he 
deemed it necessary. It meant, too, that he would do his ut- 
most to secure an amendment to the Constitution abolishing 
slavery forever, for the platform the Union convention had 
adopted before nominating him contained that plank. He 
could not be persuaded by the cautious and timid to modify 
or obscure this policy. He wanted the people to understand 
exactly what he intended, he said, and whenever he did speak 
or write, it was only to reiterate his principles in his pe- 
culiarly plain, unmistakable language. Nor would he allow 
any interference with the suffrage of men in office. They 
must vote as they pleased. " My wish is," he wrote to the 
postmaster of Philadelphia, who had been accused of trying 
to control the votes of his subordinates, " that you will do 
just as you think fit with your own suffrage in the case, and 
not constrain any of your subordinates to do other than as he 
thinks fit with his." 

Thus when the election finally came off, on November 8, 
there was not a man of any intelligence in the country who 
did not know exactly what he was voting for, if he voted for 
Lincoln. What these men thought of him the work of that 
day showed. Out of 233 electoral votes, General McClellan 
received twenty-one, 212 being for Lincoln. The oppor- 
tunity to finish the task was now his. 


Lincoln's work in the winter of 1864-65 — his second 

Out of the election Lincoln got profound satisfaction. 
He had striven to his utmost to let the people know what he 
was trying to do — this overwhelming vote for him coming 
after the dire discouragement of the summer, proved that 
they understood him and were with him. " I am deeply 
thankful to God for this approval of the people," he told a 
band of serenaders. But there was something beside personal 
triumph in his reflections on the elections. Since the be- 
ginning of the war Lincoln had repeatedly told the people 
that Republican institutions were at stake. In his first ad- 
dress to Congress, July 4, 1861, he said : " Our popular gov- 
ernment has often been calkd an experiment. Two points 
in it our people have already settled — the successful estab- 
lishing and the successful administering of it. One still re- 
mains — its successful maintenance against a formidable in- 
ternal attempt to overthrow it." 

Three years of internal war had not been able to unseat 
the government. But what would be the effect of a presiden- 
tial election added to war ? The warmest friends of repub- 
lican institutions feared that the strain would be too great. 

" It has long been a grave question," said Lincoln 
a few days after the election, " whether any government, 
not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong 
enough to maintain its existence in great emergencies. On 
this point the present rebellion br^no-ht our republic to a 



severe test, and a presidential election occurring in regular 
course during the rebellion, added not a little to the strain. 
" If the loyal people united were put to the utmost of 
their strength by the rebellion, must they not fail when 
divided and partially paralyzed by a political war among 
themselves? But the election was a necessity. We cannot 
have free government without elections; and if the rebel- 
lion could force us to forego or postpone a national elec- 
tion, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and 
ruined us. * * * But the election, along with its in- 
cidental and undesirable strife, has done good too. It has 
demonstrated that a people's government can sustain a na- 
tional election in the midst of a great civil war. Until now, 
it has not been known to the world that this was a possi- 

Another fact vital to Mr. Lincoln's policy was proved by 
the election. The North was far from exhaustion in " the 
most important branch of national resources — that of liv- 
ing men." 

" While it is melancholy to reflect/" the President 
said in his December address to Congress, " that the war 
had filled so many graves, and carried mourning to so 
many hearts, it is some relief to know that compared with 
the surviving, the fallen have been so few. While corps, 
and divisions, and brigades, and regiments have formed, 
and fought, and dwindled, and gone out of existence, a great 
majority of the men who composed them are still living. 
The same is true of the naval service. The election returns 
prove this. So many voters could not else be found. The 
States regularly holding elections, both now and four years 
ago . . . cast 3,982,011 votes now, against 3,870,222 
cast then; showing an aggregate now of 3,982,011. To 
this is to be added 33,762 cast now in the new States of 
Kansas and Nevada, which States did not vote in i860 ; thus 
swelling the aggregate to 4,015,773, and the net increase 
during the three years and a half of war, to 145,551. . 
To this again should be added the number of all soldiers in 
the field from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, 


Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, and California, who by the laws 
of those States could not vote away from their homes, and 
which number cannot be less than 90,000. Nor yet is this all. 
The number in organized Territories is triple now what it 
was four years ago, while thousands, white and black, join 
us as the national arms press back the insurgent lines. So 
much is shown, affirmatively and negatively by the election. 
" It is not material to inquire how the increase has been 
produced, or to show that it would have been greater but 
for the war, which is probably true. The important fact 
remains demonstrated that we have more men now than we 
had when the war began ; that we are not exhausted, nor in 
process of exhaustion; that we are gaining strength, and 
may, if need be, maintain the contest indefinitely. This as 
to men. Material resources are now more complete and 
abundant than ever." 

Approved by the people, convinced that the institutions 
of the country had successfully resisted the worst strain 
which could be given them, inexhaustible resources at his 
command, Lincoln took up his task. To put an end to 
the armed resistance to the union was the first duty. This 
had got to be done by war not by negotiation. He put it 
plainly to Congress in December : 

" On careful consideration of all the evidence accessi- 
ble, it seems to me that no attempt at negotiation with the 
insurgent leader could result in any good. He would ac- 
cept nothing short of severance of the Union — precisely 
what we will not and cannot give. His declarations to this 
effect are explicit and oft repeated. He does not attempt 
to deceive us. He affords us no excuse to deceive our- 
selves. He cannot voluntarily re-accept the Union ; we can- 
not voluntarily yield it. Between him and us the issue 
is distinct, simple, and inflexible. It is an issue which can 
only be tried by war, and decided by victory. If we yield, 
we are beaten ; if the Southern people fail him, he is beaten. 
Either way it would be the victory and defeat following 


By this time the boundaries of the Confederacy had been 
so narrowed, their territory so divided by invading armies 
that it seemed to all observers that they must soon yield. 
The Mississippi was open and the territory on each side 
practically under federal control. Louisiana was under 
military government. Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee 
were so cleared of troops that they had produced fair crops. 
Three ports, Norfolk, Fernandina and Pensacola, were 
opened on December i to commercial intercourse except- 
ing of course " persons, things and information contra- 
band of war." Grant held Lee and the bulk of the Con- 
federate army at Richmond. Sherman who had taken 
Atlanta in August had marched three hundred miles di- 
rectly through the Confederate country destroying every- 
thing as he went. Nobody knew just then where he would 
come out but it was certain he could be counted on to 
hold the Confederate force under Johnston in check. Be- 
sides the armies under Lee and Johnston there were other 
smaller forces holding positions, but it was evident that 
if Lee and Johnston were defeated, the surrender of these 
smaller forces was inevitable. The Confederate navy, too, 
had been destroyed by this time. The task seemed short, 
yet such was the courage, the resourcefulness, the audacity 
in attack and defense which the Confederates had .shown 
■from the beginning of the war that Mr. Lincoln was the 
last man in the North to relax efforts. Although he had 
an army of nearly a million men enrolled at the time of his 
re-election, on December 19, he called for 300,000 volunteers 
to serve for one, two or three years. 

A week after this call Sherman " came out " and pre- 
sented the country Savannah as a Christmas gift. The 
letter Lincoln wrote him, is worthy to be placed beside the 
one he wrote to Grant after Vicksburg : 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 26, 1864. 

My Dear General Sherman : 

Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift, the capture 
of Savannah. 

When you were about leaving Atlanta for the Atlantic 
coast, I was anxious, if not fearful; but feeling that you 
were the better judge, and remembering that " nothing 
risked, nothing gained," I did not interfere. Now, the 
undertaking being a success, the honor is all yours; for I 
believe none of us went further than to acquiesce. 

And taking the work of General Thomas into the count, 
as it should be taken, it is indeed a great success. Not 
only does it afford the obvious and immediate military ad- 
vantages ; but in showing to the world that your army could 
be divided, putting the stronger part to an important new 
service, and yet leaving enough to vanquish the old oppos- 
ing force of the whole, — Hood's army, — it brings those who 
sat in darkness to see a great light. But what next ? 

I suppose it will be safe if I leave General Grant and 
yourself to decide. 

Please make my grateful acknowledgments to your whole 
army— officers and men. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Although the great majority of the country agreed with 
Mr. Lincoln that the issue between North and South " could 
only be tried by war, and decided by victory," advocates of 
peace conferences still nagged the President, begging that 
if they were allowed to go South or if commissioners from 
the South were allowed to come North everything could 
be adjusted. Among these peace-makers was Francis P. 
Blair, Sr. He knew the South well, he believed honestly 
enough, no doubt, that mediation would be successful. 
Finally at the end of December the president gave him a 


pass through the lines. Blair saw President Davis and from 
him received a letter saying that if Blair would promise 
that a confederate commissioner, minister or other agent 
would be received by President Lincoln he would appoint 
one at once " with a view to secure peace to the two coun- 

Mr. Lincoln answered : 

" You having shown me Mr. Davis's letter to you of 
the 1 2th instant, you may say to him that I have con- 
stantly been, am now, and shall continue ready to receive 
any Lgent whom he, or any other influential person now 
resisting the national authority, may informally send to 
me, with the view of securing peace to the people of our 
one common country." 

It is evident from the letters of the two leaders that 
neither yielded on the essential point at issue. Jefferson 
Davis recognized " two countries/' Abraham Lincoln " one 
common country/' The upshot of Mr. Blair's mediation 
was that President Davis sent three commissioners, Alex- 
ander H. Stephens, R. M. T. Hunter and John A. Camp- 
bell, all members of the Confederate government, to Grant's 
headquarters for conference. Lincoln sent Seward to meet 
the commissioners with instructions that three things were 
indispensable to mediation: 

I. The restoration of the national authority through- 
out all the States. 

3. No receding by the executive of the United States 
on the slavery question from the position assumed thereon 
in the late annual message to Congress, and in preceding 

3. No cessation of hostilities short of an end of the 
war and the disbanding of all forces hostile to the gov- 


Before Seward had met the commission Lincoln decided 
to join him and a meeting was arranged at Fortress Mon- 
roe, the Confederate envoys being conducted to the steamer 
River Queen where Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward were 

The meeting of the men, all of them acquaintances in 
earlier days, was cordial and they began and ended their 
conference in an entirely friendly mood. But from the 
outset it was evident that nothing would come of it. There 
was but one way to end the war, Mr. Lincoln told them 
frankly, and that was for those who were resisting the 
laws of the Union to cease their resistance. He would 
grant no armistice — would in no way recognize the States — » 
so long as they were in arms. He would make no promises 
as to reconstruction after the war had ceased until they 
had given him a pledge of reunion and of cessation of resist- 
ance. Mr. Hunter attempted to argue this point with him. 
There was precedent, he said, for an executive entering into 
agreement with persons in arms against public authority. 
Charles I. of England repeatedly recognized the people 
in arms against him in this way. " I do not profess to be 
posted in history," replied Mr. Lincoln. " On all such 
matters I will turn you over to Seward. All I distinctly 
recollect about the case of Charles is that he lost his head." 

But while Lincoln held firmly to what he regarded as 
the essentials to peace, he did not hesitate to give the com- 
missioners some very good advice. " If I resided in Geor- 
gia, with my present sentiments," Mr. Stephens reports 
him as saying, " I'll tell you what I would do if I were in 
your place. I would go home and get the Governor of 
the State to call the legislature together, and get them to 
recall all the State troops from the war; elect senators and 
members to Congress, and ratify this constitutional amend- 
ment Prospectively, so as to take effect — say in five years. 


Such a ratification would be valid, in my opinion. I have 
looked into the subject, and think such a prospective ratifi- 
cation would be valid. Whatever may have been the views 
of your people before the war, they must be convinced now 
that slavery is doomed. It cannot last long in any event, 
and the best course, it seems to me, for your public men 
to pursue would be to adopt such a policy as will avoid, 
as far as possible, the evils of immediate emancipation. 
This would be my course, if I were in your place. ,, 

And so the Hampton Roads conference ended without 
other result than a renewed confirmation of what Lincoln 
had contended from the beginning of the agitation for 
peace measures — that the South would never grant until 
defeated what he claimed as vital to any negotiation — a 
recognition of the Union. 

It was understood by the country that Mr. Lincoln's re- 
election meant not only a continuation of the war but the 
emancipation of the slaves by a constitutional amendment. 
The Emancipation Proclamation was never intended by 
the president for anything but a military measure. He 
had been careful to state this in delivering it and when 
called upon to retract it by a large body of the North be- 
cause it turned the war into a contest to " free negroes," 
he had gone to great pains to explain his view. Thus in 
a letter written in August '63 to his political friends in 
Illinois, he said: 

" You dislike the Emancipation Proclamation, and per- 
haps would have it retracted. You say it is unconstitu- 
tional. I think differently. I think the Constitution invests 
its commander-in-chief with the law of war in time of war. 
The most that can be said — if so much — is that slaves are 
property. Is there — has there ever been — any question 
that by the law of war, property, both of enemies and 
friends, may be taken when needed ? And is it not needed 


whenever taking it helps us, or hurts the enemy? Armies, 
the world over, destroy enemies' property when they can- 
not use it; and even destroy their own to keep it from the 
enemy. Civilized belligerents do all in their power to 
help themselves or hurt the enemy, except a few things 
regarded as barbarous or cruel. Among the exceptions 
are the massacre of vanquished foes and non-combatants, 
male and female. 

" But the proclamation, as law, either is valid or is not 
valid. If it is not valid, it needs no retraction. If it is 
valid, it cannot be retracted any more than the dead can 
be brought to life. Some of you profess to think its re- 
traction would operate favorably for the Union. Why bet- 
ter after the retraction than before the issue. There was 
more than a year and a half of trial to suppress the rebellion 
before the proclamation issued; the last one hundred days 
of which passed under an explicit notice that it was com- 
ing, unless averted by those in revolt returning to their 
allegiance. The war has certainly progressed as favorably 
for us since the issue of the proclamation as before. I 
know, as fully as one can know the opinions of others, 
that some of the commanders of our armies in the field, who 
have given us our most important successes, believe the 
emancipation policy and the use of the colored troops con- 
stitute the heaviest blow yet dealt to the rebellion, and that 
at least one of these important successes could not have 
been achieved when it was but for the aid of black soldiers. 
Among the commanders holding these views are some who 
have never had any affinity with what is called Abolition- 
ism, or with Republican party politics, but who hold them 
purely as military opinions. I submit these opinions as 
being entitled to some weight against the objections often 
urged that emancipation and arming the blacks are unwise 
as military measures, and were not adopted as such in good 

" You say you will not fight to free negroes. Some of 
them seem willing to fight for you; but no matter. Fight 
you, then, exclusively, to save the Union. I issued the 
proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. 
Whenever you shall have conquered all resistance to the 


Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be 
an apt time then for you to declare you will not fight to 
free negroes. 

" I thought that in your struggle for the Union, to 
whatever extent the negroes should cease helping the enemy, 
to that extent it weakened the enemy in his resistance to 
you. Do you think differently? I thought that whatever 
negroes can be got to do as soldiers, leaves just as much 
less for white soldiers to do in saving the Union. Does it 
appear otherwise to you? But negroes, like other people, 
act upon motives. Why should they do anything for us 
if we will do nothing for them? If they stake their lives 
for us they must be prompted by the strongest motive, even 
the promise of freedom. And the promise, being made, 
must be kept." 

Mr. Lincoln believed that as soon as the war was over, 
the proclamation would become void. Voters would have to 
decide then what slaves it freed — whether only those who 
had under it made an effort for their freedom and had 
come into the Union lines or all of those in the States and 
parts of States in rebellion at the time it was issued. Mr. 
Lincoln inclined to the former view. But even if the latter 
interpretation was decided on, there would still be many 
slaves in the country — the institution if weakened would 
still exist. It became plainer every day to him that some 
measure must be devised removing finally and forever the 
evil root from which the nation's long and sorrowful strug- 
gle had grown. Slavery must end with the war. The 
only complete and irrevocable method to attain this was 
a constitutional amendment abolishing it forever. In De- 
cember, 1863, an amendment of this character had been 
proposed in the House and in the January after a similar 
one in the Senate. The latter passed, but the House failed 
to give the requisite two-thirds majority. Mr. Lincoln was 
convinced nevertheless that the people if asked directly to 


vote on the subject would approve the amendment and be- 
fore the meeting of the Republican Convention in June, 
'64, he sent for the chairman of the National Committee, 
Senator Morgan of New York. " I want you," he said, " to 
mention in your speech, when you call the convention to 
order as its keynote, and to put into the platform, as the 
keystone, the amendment of the Constitution abolishing and 
prohibiting slavery forever." It was done, the third article 
of the platform reading: 

Resolved, That as slavery was the cause, and now con- 
stitutes the strength, of this rebellion, and as it must be, 
always and everywhere, hostile to the principles of repub- 
lican government, justice and the national safety demand 
its utter and complete extirpation from the soil of the re- 
public; and that while we uphold and maintain the acts 
and proclamations by which the government, in its own 
defense, has aimed a death-blow at this gigantic evil, we 
are in favor, furthermore, of such an amendment to the 
Constitution, to be made by the people in conformity with 
its provisions, as shall terminate and forever prohibit the 
existence of slavery within the limits of the jurisdiction of 
the United States. 

When in December '64 Lincoln addressed Congress for 
the first time after his election he reminded them that the 
people in electing him had voted for an amendment prohib- 
iting slavery: — 

" Although the present is the same Congress " (which 
defeated the bill of Dec, '63) he said, "and nearly the 
same members, and without questioning the wisdom or 
patriotism of those who stood in opposition, I venture to 
recommend the reconstruction and passage of the measure 
at the present session. Of course the abstract question is 
not changed, but an intervening election shows, almost cer- 
tainly, that the next Congress will pass the measure if this 
does not. Hence there is only a question of time as to 


when the proposed amendment will go to the States ioi 
their action. And as it is to so go, at all events, may we 
not agree that the sooner the better ? It is not claimed that 
the election has imposed a duty on members to change their 
views or their votes any further than as an additional ele- 
ment to be considered, their judgment may be affected by 
it. It is the voice of the people now for the first time 
heard upon the question. In a great national crisis like 
ours, unanimity of action among those seeking a common 
end is very desirable — almost indispensable. And yet no 
approach to such unanimity is attainable unless some defer- 
ence shall be paid to the will of the majority, simply because 
it is the will of the majority. In this case the common end 
is the maintenance of the Union, and among the means to 
secure that end, such will, through the election, is almost 
clearly declared in favor of such constitutional amendment." 

After the bill was introduced he followed its course with 
greatest care working adroitly and constantly in its interests. 
Its passage on January 31 was a genuine satisfaction to 
him. " This finishes the job," he said joyfully, and that 
night he said to a band of serenaders, that he thought the 
measure was a very fitting if not an indispensable adjunct to 
the winding up of the great difficulty. He wished the 
reunion of all the States perfected, and so effected as to 
remove all causes of disturbance in the future; and, to at- 
tain this end, it was necessary that the original disturb- 
ing cause should, if possible, be rooted out. He thought 
all would bear him witness that he had never shrunk from 
doing all that he could to eradicate slavery, by issuing an 
emancipation proclamation. But that proclamation falls 
short of what the amendment will be when fully consum- 
mated. A question might be raised whether the proclama- 
tion was legally valid. It might be urged, that it only 
aided those that came into our lines, and that it was inopera- 
tive as to those who did not give themselves up ; or that it 
would have no effect upon the children of slaves born here- 


after; in fact, it would be urged that it did not meet the 
evil. But this amendment is a king's cure-all for all evils. 
It winds the whole thing up. He would repeat that it was 
the fitting if not the indispensable adjunct to the con- 
summation of the great game we are playing. He could 
not but congratulate all present — himself, the country, 
and the whole world — upon this great moral victory. 

The third matter which engrossed Lincoln after his elec- 
tion was reconstruction. From the very beginning of the 
war he had watched for opportunities, however small, to 
bring back into the Union disaffected districts and individ- 
uals. He was not particular about the way in which the 
wanderer returned. It was enough in Mr. Lincoln's opin- 
ion if he acknowledged the Union. Portions of Tennessee, 
Arkansas and Louisiana were put under military rule in the 
first six months of 1862 in order to encourage the Union 
sympathizers to keep up a semblance of republican gov- 
ernment and whenever the President had a chance he 
encouraged the avowed Unionists in these States to get 
together so as to form a nucleus for action when the oppor- 
tunity offered. 

By the end of 1863 Mr. Lincoln believed that the time had 
come for him publicly to offer protection and pardon to 
those persons and districts which had been in rebellion, but 
which had had enough of the experience and were ready 
to come back. He believed from what he could learn that 
there was a considerable number of these. Accordingly in 
December in sending in his annual message to Congress he 
issued a " proclamation of amnesty and reconstruction." 
This proclamation offered pardon to all save the persons 
who had led the rebellion upon their taking an oath to sup- 
port the Constitution and accept the emancipation procla- 
mation. It also promised to protect any State government 
formed in accordance with a few simple and just regulations 


which he set forth very clearly. A few weeks after the 
proclamation was issued, the President, anxious to know 
how it was working, sent General D. E. Sickles on an in* 
spection tour. 

" Please ascertain at each place," he wrote him, " what 
is being done, if anything, for reconstruction; how 
the amnesty proclamation works — if at all; what prac- 
tical hitches, if any, there are about it; whether deserters 
come in from the enemy, what number has come in at 
each point since the amnesty, and whether the ratio of their 
arrival is any greater since than before the amnesty; what 
deserters report generally, and particularly whether, and 
to what extent, the amnesty is known within the rebel lines. * ' 

As the months went on Lincoln found that in spite of the 
fact that efforts at forming governments were making and 
that the pardon was being accepted by many persons there 
was strong and bitter opposition even in the Republican 
party to his plans of reconstruction. No little of this op- 
position was resentment that the President had worked out 
the plan alone and had announced it without consulting 
anybody. Congress said that he was usurping their rights. 
Many felt that the pardon Lincoln offered was too generous. 
Rebels should be punished, not pardoned, they argued. 
Many declared the States which had seceded could not be 
allowed to reorganize without congressional action. At 
the same time the President was constantly harassed by con- 
tests between the military and civil authorities in the States 
which were trying to organize. These contests seemed so 
unreasonable and so selfish to Mr. Lincoln that he wrote 
some very plain letters to the persons concerned. 

" Few things since I have been here," he wrote General 
Hurlbut in November, " have impressed me more painfully 
that what for four or five months past has °ppeared a bitter 


military opposition to the new State government of Louisi- 
ana. ... A very fair proportion of the people of Louisiana 
have inaugurated a new State government, making an excel- 
lent new Constitution — better for the poor black man than 
we have in Illinois. This was done under military protection, 
directed by me, in the belief, still sincerely entertained, that 
with such a nucleus around which to build we could get 
the State into position again sooner than otherwise. In 
this belief a general promise of protection and support, ap- 
plicable alike to Louisiana and other States, was given in 
the last annual message. During the formation of the new 
government and Constitution they were supported by nearly 
every loyal person, and opposed by every secessionist. And 
this support and this opposition, from the respective stand- 
points of the parties, was perfectly consistent and logical. 
Every Unionist ought to wish the new government to suc- 
ceed ; and every disunionist must desire it to fail. Its failure 
would gladden the heart of Slidell in Europe, and of every 
enemy of the old Rag in the world. Every advocate of 
slavery naturally desires to see blasted and crushed the 
liberty promised the black man by the new Constitution. 
But why General Canby and General Hurlbut should join 
on the same side is to me incomprehensible. . . . " 

After his re-election, in spite of all opposition, Lincoln 
steadily supported the new State governments. His practical 
common sense in dealing with a difficult problem never 
showed to better advantage than in the plan of reconstruc- 
tion he had offered and was trying. It was not the only plan 
he kept repeating, but it was accomplishing something, was 
not this something better than nothing? If it proved bad 
he would change it for a better one, if a better was offered, 
but until it was shown that it was adverse to the interests of 
the people he was trying to bring back into the Union he 
should follow it. As for the abstract question over which a 
great part of the North was quarrelling, whether the seceded 
States were in the Union or out of it, he would not consider 
it. It was " bad as the basis of a controversy " he declared 


«nd " good for nothing at all — a merely pernicious abstrac* 

"We all agree/' he continued, " that the seceded States, so 
called, are out of their proper practical relation with the 
Union, and that the sole object of the government, civil and 
military, in regard to those States is to again get them into 
the proper practical relation. I believe that it is not only pos- 
sible, but in fact easier, to do this without deciding or even 
considering whether these States have ever been out of the 
Union, than with it. Finding themselves safely at home, it 
would be utterly immaterial whether they had ever been 
abroad. Let us all join in doing the acts necessary to restor- 
ing the proper practical relations between these States and the 
Union, and each forever after innocently indulge his own 
opinion whether in doing the acts he brought the States from 
without into the Union, or only gave them proper assistance, 
they never having been out of it." 

As the winter passed into the spring the President saw 
ever> day that the end was approaching and as he realized 
that at last the mighty problem over which he had agonized 
for so many months was unfolding, as he saw not only that 
the primary object for which he had been struggling- — the 
Union — was to be attained but that even before this end 
was attained the evil which had caused all the trouble was to 
be eradicated, he experienced a lofty exaltation, a fresh real- 
ization that the will of God prevails in human affairs. 
From the time of his election he had been animated by a 
simple theory : — If we do right, God will be with us and if 
God is with us we cannot fail. He had struggled to see 
what was right and no man or men had been able to bring to 
bear pressure heavy enough to turn him from a step he had 
concluded was right. Yet as the days went on he saw his 
cause fail again and again. Many times it seemed on the 
verge of destruction. He pondered deeply over this seem- 
ing contradiction. Was he wrong in his own judgment of 

LINCOLN IN 1864. AGE 55 
From photograph by Brady in the War Department Collection. 


what was right or could it be that God had some end in view 
different from either that of the North or South? Late in 
1862, evidently to help clear up his mind, he wrote down on 
a slip of paper a statement of the puzzling problem. His 
secretaries later found it and published it in their history. 

" The will of God prevails. In great contests each party 
claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may 
be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against 
the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war 
it is quite possible that God's purpose is something different 
from the purpose of either party ; and yet the human instru- 
mentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adapta- 
tion to effect his purpose. I am almost ready to say that this 
is probably true; that God wills this contest, and wills that 
it shall not end yet. By his mere great power on the minds 
of the now contestants, he could have either saved or de- 
stroyed the Union without a human contest. Yet the con- 
test began. And, having begun, he could give the final vic- 
tory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds." 

As time went on and his conviction that his cause was 
right grew stronger, in spite of the reverses he suffered, he 
began to feel that God's purpose was to wipe out slavery and 
that the war was a divine retribution on North as well as 
South for the toleration of slavery. In a letter written in 
April, 1864, he expressed this view: 

" . . .At the end of three years' struggle, the nation's 
condition is not what either party, or any man, devised or 
expected. God alone can claim it. Whither it is tending 
seems plain. If God now wills the removal of a great wrong, 
and wills also that we of the North, as well as you of the 
South, shall pay fairly for our complicity in that wrong, 
impartial history will find therein new cause to attest and 
revere the justice and goodness of God." 

By the spring of 1865 this explanation of the continuation 
of the war fully possessed him and in his inaugural he laid it 


before the people in a few solemn, beautiful sentences — a 
prophets cry to a nation bidding them to complete the task 
the Lord God Almighty had set before them, and to expiate 
in humility their sins. 

"... The Almighty has his own purposes," he said. 
" ' Woe unto the world because of offenses ! for it must needs 
be that offenses come ; but woe to that man by whom the of- 
fense cometh/ If we shall suppose that American slavery 
is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, 
must needs come, but which, having continued through his 
appointed time, he now wills to remove, and that he gives 
to both North and South this terrible war, as the woe due 
to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein 
any departure from those divine attributes which the be- 
lievers in a living God always ascribe to him? Fondly do 
we hope — fervently do we pray — that this mighty scourge 
of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it 
continue until all the wealth piled by the bondman's two 
hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and 
until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid 
by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thou- 
sand years ago, so still it must be said, ' The judgments of 
the Lord are true and righteous altogether.' 

" With malice toward none ; with charity for all ; with 
firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let 
us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the na- 
tion's wounds ; to care for him who shall have borne the bat- 
tle, and for his widow, and his orphan — to do all which may 
achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among our- 
selves, and with all nations." 

It was in this lofty spirit that Abraham Lincoln entered 
on his second term. Every act of the few days of that 
term which he served was in full harmony with the words 
of his inaugural. Although the criticism on him for par- 
doning prisoners of war was at that time very bitter, even 
General Grant protesting against his broad exercise of the 
pardoning power, he could be persuaded easily to set free 


any man or men for whom any honest official would vouch. 
Honorable John B. Henderson, then in the United States 
Senate from Missouri, relates for this work his experience 
in securing pardons from Lincoln in the spring of 1865. 

" From 1862 to 1865," says Mr. Henderson, " the con- 
ditions were such in Missouri, that every man was obliged 
to espouse actively either the Union or the Confederate 
cause. No man really was safe out of one army or another. 
Property was insecure, and if a person attempted to remain 
neutral he was suspected by both Confederates and Feder- 
als, and was liable to be arrested by either side, and his prop- 
erty destroyed. During the progress of the war a large 
number of Missourians had been arrested by the Federals 
and were confined in the military prisons, many of them at 
St. Louis where the McDowell Medical College had been 
taken and used for the purpose, and some at Alton, Illinois, 
about twenty-five miles above St. Louis on the river. The 
friends and relations of many of these military prisoners 
appealed to me to secure their release, or to save them from 
whatever sentence had been pronounced. These sentences, 
of course, varied. In flagrant cases where they were con- 
victed of acting as spies, or of prosecuting guerilla warfare, 
the death sentence was sometimes ordered but not often 
inflicted. Others were condemned to prison for life or dur- 
ing the war. Few of the death sentences were ever inflicted- 
There was a tacit understanding among the military au- 
thorities that while a show of severity be kept up it was only 
under extreme circumstances that a prisoner should be exe- 
cuted. Towards the close of the winter of 1864-65, I found 
that I had a large number of these applications for clemency 
and pardon on hand. 

" Congress adjourned on March 4, 1865, and Mr. Lincoln 
on that day was inaugurated for a second term. An extra 
session of the Senate only was called immediately to act on 
presidential nominations, but it continued in session until 
about the 18th of March. I was anxious to clear up as many 
as possible of these imprisonment cases before leaving for 
home. I accordingly had mv clerk classify them, according 


to the evidence in each case, giving the name of the pris- 
oner, the character of his offense, together with a statement 
of the proofs or evidence against him. I caused them to 
be divided into three classes. Into the first class I put those 
of whose innocence I had but little doubt; into the second 
class those whose innocence was more doubtful, but whom 
I believed it would be safe and proper, under the circum- 
stances, to release; the third class consisted of those who 
ought still to be retained in confinement. As I had very 
little time before leaving for the West, I took the first and 
second classes to the President and asked their pardon and 

" Mr. Lincoln looked over the list and then said : ' Do 
you mean to tell me, Henderson, that you wish me to let 
loose all these people at once ? ' 

" l Yes/ I said, ' I believe it can be easily done.' 

" ' But/ said Mr. Lincoln, ' I have no time to examine 
the evidence. I am constantly reproached for my too abun- 
dant charity, and what would be said if I should turn loose 
so many sinners at once. And again what would be the in- 
fluence in Missouri ? ' 

" ' I believe, Mr. President/ I said, ' that the influence 
would be most beneficial. The war is nearly over. The day 
for generosity and kindness has come.' 

" ' Do you really think so ? ' said the President. 

" ' Yes, the rebellion is broken ; the rebels will soon be 
returning to their homes if permitted to do so. What I es- 
pecially wish is to prevent in my State a prolonged guerilla 
warfare. The rebels are already conquered in war. Let 
us try charity and kindness rather than repression and sever- 
ity. The policy of mercy will prove to be a wise reconstruc- 
tion measure/ 

" ' I hope you are right/ said the President ; ' but I have 
no time to examine this evidence. If I sign this list as a 
whole, will you be responsible for the future good behavior 
of the men ? ' 

" ■ Yes/ I said. 

" ' Then I will take the risk and sign it," said the Presi- 
dent. And after inserting, in his own hand-writing, the 
word ' pardoned ' after the name of each person who had 


been convicted of offenses by military commission, he signed 
the general order of release, and returned the paper to me. 

" ' Thank you, Mr. President; but that is not all; I have 
another list here.' 

" ' I hope you are not going to make me let loose another 

" ' Yes. I am not quite so sure of the merits of this list, 
but I believe the men are not dangerous, and it will be good 
policy to let them go. I think it safer and better to err on 
the side of mercy.' 

" * Yes/ said Mr. Lincoln ; * but you know I am charged 
with making too many mistakes on the side of mercy.' 

" ' Mr. President, my argument for this is the same as 
in the other case. The war is substantially over. The guilt 
of these men is at least doubtful And mercy is and must 
be after all the policy of peace.' 

" ' I guess you are right,' said Mr. Lincoln. 

" ' Yes/ I said, * I am sure I am, and I think that you 
ought to sign it/ 

" ' Well, I'll be durned if I don't/ said the President, and 
he signed his name after inserting the word ' pardoned ' 
over the name of those laboring under conviction. 

" This was the only time that I ever heard Mr. Lincoln use 
a word which approached profanity. 

" ' Now, Henderson,' he said, as he handed the list back 
to me, ' remember you are responsible to me for these men. 
If they do not behave, I shall have to put you in prison for 
their sins/ " 

A few days after this interview with Mr. Henderson the 
President decided to take a holiday — the first he had taken 
since he entered the White House in 1861. Boarding a 
river steamer with a few friends he went to City Point on 
the James River, where General Grant had his headquar- 
ters. Here he could not possibly be reached by the office- 
seekers incident to a new term and here, too, he would be 
near the operations which he felt would soon end the war. 

Grant's headquarters at this time were in a group of cot- 


tages on a high bluff at the juncture of the Appomattox and 
James Rivers. It was a point which commanded a view of 
a wide and active scene, including many places made his- 
toric by the operations of the four years just past. To the 
north were the flats of Bermuda Hundred, with the con- 
spicuous look-out tower, with tents and barracks and 
wharves ; beyond the wooded slopes of Malvern Hill. Look- 
ing eastward across the great bay which the confluence of 
the two rivers makes here, could be seen Harrison's Landing. 
On every side wharves ran out from the shore. Here night 
and day steamers, transports, gun boats were coming and 
going, unloading men and supplies, carrying away wounded 
and prisoners. The President's little steamer anchored at 
the foot of the bluff and here he lived for some ten days. 
It had been intended that on the day of his arrival at City 
Point, March 25, the President should review a portion of 
the troops on the Petersburg line, but that morning the final 
struggle between besieged and besiegers was begun by the 
unexpected attack of the Confederates on Fort Stedman. A 
terrific battle followed and the review was deferred. Com- 
parative quiet followed this attack for some five days and in 
this interim Lincoln visited the lines behind Petersburg with 
Grant several times to review the troops and watch the op- 
erations, and he spent considerable time sailing up and down 
the river with Admiral Porter on his flag-ship. 

Two days after tLe President reached City Point Sher- 
man, whose army had since the fall of Atlanta, marched 
to the sea and as far northward as Goldsboro, North Caro- 
lina, and was now expecting soon to meet the Confederate 
army under Johnston, came to City Point to confer with 
Grant and Lincoln. Both generals agreed that their work 
was nearly over, but each thought he must fight another 
great battle. The President urged them to avoid this if pos- 
sible. " No more blood-shed," was his repeated counsel. 


Grant's final movements began on March 31. Lincoln at 
City Point sat all day in the telegraph office at headquarters 
as at critical moments he did in Washington, receiving re- 
ports from Grant and sending them on to Stanton. It was 
he who first informed the War Department of Sheridan's 
success at Five Points on April 1. It was he who on the 
morning of April 3 wired the Secretary of War that at last 
Petersburg was evacuated and Richmond said to be. A 
few hours later he went at Grant's request to Petersburg 
for a last interview with the general before he followed his 
army which was now moving after the retreating Confed- 
erate army. The city had suffered terribly from the long 
siege, many of its houses being destroyed and all being more 
or less riddled by shot and shell. Even to-day a visitor to 
Petersburg is shown house after house where great cannon 
balls are embedded in the walls. As Lincoln rode through 
the streets, busy as he was with the stupendous event he 
had so long desired, he noticed the destruction with a sorry 
shake of his head. The talk with Grant was held on the 
porch of a comfortable house still standing, and then the 
two parted, Grant to go to Appomattox, Lincoln to City 

The news of the abandonment of Richmond on April 2 
had by this time reached City Point. Lincoln's first excla- 
mation on receiving the news was " I want to see Rich- 
mond." A party was at once arranged and on the morning 
of April 4 he started up the river. The trip must have been 
full of exciting interest to the President, leading as it did 
by a score of places which had been made forever famous 
by the struggles of war which he knew now to be over — 
Malvern Hill, Deep Bottom, Dutch Gap, Varina! It was 
full of real danger, too, for there was no way of knowing 
positively that the stream was free from torpedoes or the 
banks entirely cleared of the enemy. The entrance into 


Richmond was even more dangerous. Here was the Presi- 
dent of the United States with four companions and 
a guard of only ten marines, entering on foot a city 
which for four years he had been doing his utmost to 
capture by force. That city was in a condition of the wild- 
est confusion. The army and government had abandoned 
it. Fire had destroyed a large part of it and was still raging. 
The Federals who had entered the day before had not as 
yet established any effective patrol. A hostile people filled 
the streets and hung from the windows. And yet through 
this chaos of misery, disorganization, and defeat Abraham 
Lincoln walked in safety. More, as it was noised abroad 
that he had come his passage became a triumph. The ne- 
groes full of superstitious veneration for the name of Lin- 
coln flocked about him weeping. " Bres de Lord," cried 
one, " dere is de great Messiah," and throwing himself on 
his knees he kissed the President's feet. It was only after 
a long struggle that the guard was able to conduct Mr. Lin- 
coln from this tumultuous rejoicing crowd and bring him 
safe to the house of Jefferson Davis — now the headquarters 
of the federal troops. 

The President remained two days in Richmond carefully 
going over the situation and discussing the best means of 
restoring Union authority and of dealing with the individ- 
uals who had been in insurrection. The President was em- 
phatic in his opinion. The terms must be liberal. " Get 
them to plowing once," he said in Admiral Porter's pres- 
ence, " and gathering in their own little crops, eating pop- 
corn at their own firesides, and you can't get them to shoul- 
der a musket again for half a century." Being cheered at 
City Point the day after he left Richmond by a crowd of 
Confederate prisoners, he said again to Admiral Porter: 
" They will never shoulder a musket again in anger, and if 
Grant is wise he will leave them their guns to shoot crows 


with and their horses to plow with ; it would do no harm.'* 
As to the people of Richmond his one counsel to the military 
governor was to " let them down easy." Nor would he 
while there listen to a word of harshness in the treatment 
of even the leaders of the rebellion. One day when visiting 
Libby Prison, a member of the party remarked to him that 
Jefferson Davis ought to be hung, " Judge not that ye be 
not judged," Charles Sumner heard him quote. No bit- 
terness was in his soul, only a great thankfulness that the 
end seemed so near and a firm determination to regulate 
with mercy all questions of reconstruction. 

Returning to City Point Mr. Lincoln learned that Mr. 
Seward had been thrown from a carriage and injured and 
he resolved to go at once to Washington. He had only just 
reached there when he received word that on April 9 Gen- 
eral Lee had surrendered his army to General Grant at Ap- 
pomattox. This could mean but one thing, the war was 
over. No force was now left to the enemy which must not 
surrender on hearing that the principal Confederate force 
had laid down its arms. Immediately the President and his 
associates began the glad task of shutting down the vast 
war machinery in operation — the first act being to issue an 
order suspending the draft 



u The war is over." Throughout the breadth of the North 
this was the jubilant cry with which people greeted one an- 
other on the morning of April 14, 1865. For ten days re- 
ports of victories had been coming to them ; Petersburg 
evacuated, Richmond fallen, Jefferson Davis and his cabinet 
fled, Lee surrendered, Mobile captured. Nothing of the 
Confederacy, in short, remained but Johnston's army, and 
it was generally believed that its surrender to Sherman was 
but a matter of hours. How completely the conflict was at an 
end, however, the people of the North had not realized until 
they read in their newspapers, on that Good Friday morn- 
ing the order of the Secretary of War suspending the draft, 
stopping the purchase of military supplies, and removing 
military restrictions from trade. The war was over indeed, 

Such a day of rejoicing as followed the world has rarely 
seen. At Fort Sumter scores of well-known citizens of the 
North, among them Henry Ward Beecher, William Lloyd 
Garrison, General Robert Anderson, and Theodore Tilton, 
raised over the black and shattered pile the flag which four 
years ago Charleston, now lying desolate and wasted, had 
dragged down. 

Cities and towns, hamlets and country road-sides blos- 
somed with flags and bunting. Stock exchanges met to pass 
resolutions. Bells rang. Every man who could make a 
speech was on his feet. It was a Millennium Day, restoring 
broken homes, quieting aching hearts, easing distracted 
minds. Even those who mourned — and who could count the 
number whom that dreadful four years had stripped of those 



rfiey held dearest? — even those who mourned exulted. Their 
dead had saved a nation, freed a people. And so a subtle joy, 
mingled triumph, resignation, and hope, swept over the 
North. It was with all men as James Russell Lowell wrote to 
his friend Norton that it was with him : " The news, my 
dear Charles is from Heaven. I felt a strange and tender ex- 
altation. I wanted to laugh and I wanted to cry, and ended 
by holding my peace and feeling devoutly thankful." 

One man before all others in the nation felt and showed 
his gladness that day— the President, Abraham Lincoln. For 
weeks now as he had seen the end approaching, little by lit- 
tle he had been thankfully laying aside the ways of war and 
returning to those of peace. His soul, tuned by nature to gen- 
tleness and good-will, had been for four years forced to lead 
in a pitiless war. Now his duties were to " bind up the na- 
tion's wounds ; to care for him who shall have borne the bat- 
tle, and for his widow, and his orphan; " to devise plans by 
which the members of the restored Union could live together 
in harmony, to plan for the future of the four million human 
beings to whom he had given freedom. All those who were 
with him in this period remarked the change in his feelings 
and his ways. He seemed to be aroused to a new sense of 
the beauty of peace and rest, to love to linger in quiet 
spots, and to read over and over with infinite satisfac- 
tion lines of poetry which expressed repose. The perfect 
tranquillity in death seemed especially to appeal to him. 
Mrs. Lincoln once related to her friend, Isaac Arnold, that, 
while at City Point, in April, she was driving one day with 
her husband along the banks of the James, when they passed 
a country grave-yard. "It was a retired place, shaded 
by trees, and early spring flowers were opening on nearly 
every grave. It was so quiet and attractive that they 
stopped the carriage and walked through it. Mr. Lincoln 
seemed thoughtful and impressed. He said : * Mary, you 



are younger than I. You will survive me. When I am 
gone, lay my remains in some quiet place like this/ " 

A few days after this, as he was sailing down the James 
bound for Washington, Charles Sumner, who was in the 
party, was much impressed by the tone and manner in which 
Mr. Lincoln read aloud two or three times a passage from 
Macbeth : 

" Duncan is in his grave; 
After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well; 
Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison, 
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing, 
Can touch him further!" 

There was a marked change in his appearance. All through 
1863 and 1864 his thin face had day by day grown more hag- 
gard, its lines had deepened, its pallor had become a more 
ghastly gray. His eye, always sad when he was in thought, 
had a look of unutterable grief. Through all these months 
Lincoln was, in fact, consumed by sorrow. " I think I shall 
never be glad again," he said once to a friend. But as one by 
one the weights lifted, a change came over him; his form 
straightened, his face cleared, the lines became less accentu- 
ated. " His whole appearance, poise, and bearing had mar- 
vellously changed," says the Hon. James Harlan. " He was 
in fact, transfigured. That indescribable sadness which had 
previously seemed to be an adamantine element of his very 
being, had been suddenly changed for an equally indescriba- 
ble expression of serene joy, as if conscious that the great 
purpose of his life had been achieved." 

Never since he had become convinced that the end of the 
war was near had Mr. Lincoln seemed to his friends more 
glad, more serene, than on the 14th of April. The morning 
was soft and sunny in Washington, and as the spring was 
early in 1865, the Judas-trees and the dogwood were blos- 
soming on the hillsides, the willows were green along the 
Potomac, and in the parks and gardens the lilacs bloomed— 


Drawn from a photograph made by Alexander Gardner, photographer to the Army of 
the Potomac, while the President was sharpening a pencil for his son Tad. Copyright, 
1894, by Watson Porter. 


a day of promise and joy to which the whole town responded. 
Indeed, ever since the news of the fall of Richmond reached 
Washington the town had been indulging in an almost un- 
broken celebration, each new victory arousing a fresh out- 
burst and rekindling enthusiasm. On the night of the 13th, 
there had been a splendid illumination, and on the 14th, the 
rejoicing went on. The suspension of the draft and the 
presence of Grant in town — come this time not to plan new 
campaigns, but to talk of peace and reconstruction — seemed 
to furnish special reason for celebrating. 

At the White House the family party which met at break- 
fast was unusually happy. Captain Robert Lincoln, the 
President's oldest son, then an aide-de-camp on Grant's staff, 
had arrived that morning, and the closing scenes of Grant's 
campaign were discussed with the deepest interest by father 
and son. Soon after breakfast the President received 
Schuyler Colfax, who was about to leave for the West, and 
later in the morning the cabinet met, Friday being its regular 
day. General Grant was invited to remain to its session. 
There was the greatest interest at the moment in General 
Sherman's movements, and Grant was plied with questions 
by the cabinet. The President was least anxious of all. 
The news would soon come, he said, and it would be favor- 
able. He had no doubt of this, for the night before he had 
had a dream which had preceded nearly every important 
event of the war. 

" He said it was in my department, it related to the 
water," Secretary Welles afterward wrote ; " that he seemed 
to be in a singular and indescribable vessel, but always the 
same, and that he was moving with great rapidity toward a 
dark and indefinite shore; that he had had this singular 
dream preceding the firing on Sumter, the battles of Bull 
Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, Stone River, Vicksburg, Wil- 
mington, etc. . . . Victory did not always follow his dream, 


but the event and results were important. He had no doubt 
that a battle had taken place, or was about being fought, ' and 
Johnston will be beaten, for I had this strange dream again 
last night. It must relate to Sherman; my thoughts are in 
that direction, and / know of no other very important event 
which is likely just now to occur.' " 

The greater part of the meeting was taken up with a dis- 
cussion of the policy of reconstruction. How were they to 
treat the States and the men who had tried to leave the 
Union, but who now were forced back into their old rela- 
tions? How could practical civil government be reestab- 
lished; how could trade be restored between North and 
South; what should be done with those who had led the 
States to revolt? The President urged his cabinet to consider 
carefully all these questions, and he warned them em- 
phatically, Mr. Welles says, that he did not sympathize with 
and would not participate in any feelings of hate and vin- 
dictiveness. " He hoped there would be no persecution, no 
bloody work, after the war was over. None need expect he 
would take any part in hanging or killing these men, even 
the worst of them. Frighten them out of the country, let 
down the bars, scare them off, said he, throwing up his hands 
as if scaring sheep. Enough lives have been sacrificed. We 
must extinguish our resentment if we expect harmony and 
union. There was too much desire on the part of our very 
good friends to be masters, to interfere with and dictate to 
those States, to treat the people not as fellow-citizens ; there 
was too little respect for their rights. He didn't sympathize 
in these feelings. ,, 

The impression he made on all the cabinet that day was ex- 
pressed twenty-four hours later by Secretary Stanton : " He 
was more cheerful and happy than I had ever seen him, re- 
joiced at the near prospect of firm and durable peace at home 
and abroad, manifested in marked degree the kindness and 


humanity of his disposition, and the tender and forgiving 
spirit that so eminently distinguished him." 

In the afternoon the President went for his usual drive. 
Only Mrs. Lincoln was with him. Years afterward Mrs. 
Lincoln related to Isaac Arnold what she remembered of Mr. 
Lincoln's words that day : " Mary," he said, " we have had 
a hard time of it since we came to Washington ; but the war 
is over, and with God's blessing we may hope for four years 
of peace and happiness, and then we will go back to Illinois, 
and pass the rest of our lives in quiet. We have laid by some 
money, and during this term we will try and save up more, 
but shall not have enough to support us. We will go back to 
Illinois, and I will open a law office at Springfield or Chicago, 
and practice law, and at least do enough to help give us a 

It was late in the afternoon when he returned from his 
drive, and as he left his carriage he saw going across the 
lawn toward the Treasury a group of friends, among them 
Richard Oglesby, then Governor of Illinois. " Come back, 
boys, come back," he shouted. The party turned, joined the 
President on the portico, and went up to his office with him. 

" How long we remained there I do not remember," says 
Governor Oglesby. " Lincoln got to reading some humorous 
book ; I think it was by ' John Phcenix.' They kept sending 
for him to come to dinner. He promised each time to go, but 
would continue reading the book. Finally he got a sort of 
peremptory order that he must come to dinner at once. It 
was explained to me by the old man at the door that they 
were going to have dinner and then go to the theater." 

A theater party had been made up by Mrs. Lincoln for that 
evening — General and Mrs. Grant being her guests — to see 
Laura Keene, at Ford's theater, in " Our American Cousin." 
Miss Keene was ending her season in Washington that night 
with a benefit. The box had been ordered in the morning, 


and unusual preparations had been made to receive the presi- 
dential party. The partition between the two upper proscen- 
ium boxes at the left of the stage had been removed, com- 
fortable upholstered chairs had been put in, and the front of 
the box had been draped with flags. The manager, of 
course, took care to announce in the afternoon papers that 
the " President and his lady " and the " Hero of Appo- 
mattox " would attend Miss Keene's benefit that evening. 

By eight o'clock the house was filled with the half-idle, 
half-curious crowd of a holiday night. Many had come 
simply to see General Grant, whose face was then unfamiliar 
in Washington. Others, strolling down the street, had 
dropped in because they had nothing better to do. The play 
began promptly, the house following its nonsensical fun with 
friendly eyes and generous applause, one eye on the Presi- 
dent's box. 

The presidential party was late. Indeed it had not left the 
White House until after eight o'clock, and then it was made 
up differently from what Mrs. Lincoln had expected, for in 
the afternoon she had received word that General and Mrs. 
Grant had decided to go North that night. It was suggested 
then that the party be given up, but the fear that the public 
would be disappointed decided the President to keep the en- 
gagement. Two young friends, the daughter of Senator Ira 
Harris and his stepson, Major H. R. Rathbone, had been in- 
vited to take the place of General and Mrs. Grant. 

Schuyler Colfax and Mr. Ashmun, of Massachusetts, had 
called early in the evening, and the President had talked with 
them a little while. He rose finally with evident regret to go 
to his carriage. The two gentlemen accompanied him to the 
door, and he paused there long enough to write on a card, 
"Allow Mr. Ashmun and friends to come in at nine a. m. to- 
morrow." As he shook hands with them he said to Mr. Col- 
fax : " Colfax, don't forget to tell those people in the mining 



Loaned by G. A. Morton, New Haven, Conn. 

regions what I told you this morning." Then, entering the 
carriage, he was driven to the theater on Tenth street, be- 
tween E and F. 

When the presidential party finally entered the theater, 
making its way along the gallery behind the seats of the dress 
circle, the orchestra broke into " Hail to the Chief," and the 
people, rising in their seats and waving hats and handker- 
chiefs, cheered and cheered, the actors on the stage standing 
silent in the meantime. The party passed through the nar- 
row entrance into the box, and the several members laid aside 
their wraps, and bowing and smiling to the enthusiastic 
crowd below, seated themselves, Mr. Lincoln in a large arm- 
chair at the left, Mrs. Lincoln next to him. Miss Harris next, 
and to the extreme right, a little behind Miss Harris, Major 
Rathbone ; and then the play went on. 

The party in the box was well entertained, it seemed, es- 
pecially the President, who laughed good-humoredly at the 
jokes and chatted cheerfully between the acts. He moved 
from his seat but once, rising then to put on his overcoat, for 
the house was chilly. The audience was well entertained, 


too, though not a few kept an eye on the box entrance, still 
expecting General Grant. The few whose eyes sought the 
box now and then noticed, in the second scene of the third 
act, that a man was passing behind the seats of the dress cir- 
cle and approaching the entrance to the box. Those who did 
not know him noticed that he was strikingly handsome, 
though very pale ; that was all. They did not look again. It 
was not General Grant. 

One man did watch him. He knew him, and wanted to 
see who in the presidential box it could be that he knew well 
enough to call on in the middle of an act. If any attendant 
saw him, there was no question of his movements. He was a 
privileged person in the theater, having free entrance to 
every corner. He had been there in the course of the day; 
he had passed out and in once or twice during the evening. 

Crowding behind some loose chairs in the aisle, the man 
passed out of sight through the door leading into the pas- 
sage behind the President's box. He closed the door behind 
him, paused for a moment, then did a curious thing for a 
visitor to a theater party. He picked up a piece of stout 
plank which he seemed to know just where to find, and 
slipped one end into a hole gouged into the wall close to the 
door-casing. The plank extended across the door, making 
a rough but effective bolt. Turning to the door which led 
from the passage to the boxes, he may have peered through 
a tiny hole which had been drilled through the panel. If he 
did, he saw a quiet party intent on the play, the President 
just then smiling over a bit of homely wit. 

Opening the door so quietly that no one heard him, the 
man entered the box. Then if any eye in the house could but 
have looked, if one head in the box had been turned, it would 
have been seen that the man held in his right hand a Derrin- 
ger pistol, and that he raised the weapon and aimed it 
steadily at the head of the smiling President. 


No eye saw him, but a second later and every ear heard a 
pistol shot. Those in the house unfamiliar with the play 
thought it a part of the performance, and waited expectant. 
Those familiar with " Our American Cousin," the orches- 
tra, attendants, actors, searched in amazement to see from 
where the sound came. Only three persons in all the house 
knew just where it was — three of the four in the box knew it 
was there by their side — a tragedy. The fourth saw nothing, 
heard nothing, thought nothing. His head had fallen quietly 
on his breast, his arms had relaxed a little, the smile was still 
on his lips. 

Then from the box, now filled with white smoke, came a 
woman's sharp cry, and there was a sound of a struggle. 
Major Rathbone, at the sound of the shot, had sprung to his 
feet and grappled with the stranger, who now had a dagger 
in his hand, and who struck viciously with it at the Major's 
heart. He, warding the blow from his breast, received it in 
his upper arm, and his hold relaxed. The stranger sprang to 
the balustrade of the box as if about to leap, but Major Rath- 
bone caught at his garments. They were torn from his 
grasp, and the man vaulted toward the stage, a light, agile 
leap, which turned to a plunge as the silken flag in front 
caught at a spur on his boot. As the man struck the floor his 
left leg bent and a bone snapped, but instantly he was up ; 
and limping to the middle of the stage, a long strip of the 
silken banner trailing from his spur, he turned full on the 
house, which still stared straight ahead, searching for the 
meaning of the muffled pistol shot. Brandishing his dagger 
and shouting — so many thought, though there were others 
whose ears were so frozen with amazement that they heard 
nothing—" Sic semper tyrannis! " he turned to fly. Not, 
however, before more than one person in the house had said 
to himself, " Why, it is John Wilkes Booth ! " Not before 
others had realized that the shot was that of a murderer, that 


the woman's cry in the box came from Mrs, Lincoln, that the 
President in all the turmoil alone sat calm, his head unmoved 
on his breast. As these few grasped the awful meaning of 
the confused scene, it seemed to them that they could not rise 
nor cry out. They stretched out inarticulate arms, struggling 
to tear themselves from the nightmare which held them. 
When strength and voice did return, they plunged over the 
seats, forgetting their companions, bruising themselves, and 
clambered to the stage, crying aloud in rage and despair, 
" Hang him, hang him ! " But Booth, though his leg was 
broken, was too quick. He struck with his dagger at one who 
caught him, plunged through a familiar back exit, and, leap- 
ing upon a horse standing ready for him, fled. When those 
who pursued reached the street, they heard only the rapidly 
receding clatter of a horse's hoofs. 

But while a few in the house pursued Booth, others had 
thought only of reaching the box. The stage was now full of 
actors in their paint and furbelows, musicians with their in- 
struments, men in evening dress, officers in uniform — a mot- 
ley, wild-eyed crowd which, as Miss Harris appeared at the 
edge of the box crying out, " Bring water. Has any one 
stimulants ? " demanded, " What is it ? What is the mat- 

" The President is shot," was her reply. 

A surgeon was helped over the balustrade into the box. 
The star of the evening, whose triumph this was to have 
been, strove to calm the distracted throng; then she, too, 
sought the box. Major Rathbone, who first of all in the 
house had realized that a foul crime had been attempted, had 
turned from his unsuccessful attempt to stop the murderer 
to see that it was the President who had been shot. He had 
rushed to the door of the passage, where men were already 
beating in a furious effort to gain admission, and had found 
it barred. It was an instant before he could pull away the 


plank, explain the tragedy, demand surgeons, and press back 
the crowd. 

The physicians admitted lifted the silent figure, still sitting 
calmly in the chair, stretched it on the floor, and began to 
tear away the clothing to find the wound, which they sup- 
posed was in the breast. It was a moment before it was dis* 
covered that the ball had entered the head back of the left ear 
and was imbedded in the brain. 

There seemed to be but one desire then : that was to get 
the wounded man from the scene of the murder. Two per* 
sons lifted him, and the stricken party passed from the box, 
through the dress circle, down the stairs into the street, the 
blood dripping from the wound faster and faster as they 
went. No one seemed to know where they were going, for as 
they reached the street there was a helpless pause and an ap- 
peal from the bearers, " Where shall we take him? " Across 
the street, on the high front steps of a plain, three-storied 
brick house, stood a man, who but a moment before had left 
the theater, rather bored by the play. He had seen, as he 
stood there idly wondering if he should go in to bed or not, a 
violent commotion in the vestibule of the theater; had seen 
people rushing out, the street filling up, policemen and sol- 
diers appearing. He did not know what it all meant. Then 
two men bearing a body came from the theater, behind them 
a woman in evening gown, flowers in her hair, jewels on her 
neck. She was wringing her hands and moaning. The man 
on the steps heard some one say, " The President is shot ; " 
heard the bearers of the body asking, " Where shall we take 
him ? " and quickly coming forward, he said, " "Bring him 
here into my room." 

And so the President was carried up the high steps, 
through a narrow hall, and laid, still unconscious, still mo- 
tionless, on the bed of a poor, little, commonplace room of a 
commonplace lodging-house, where surgeons and physicians 


gathered about in a desperate attempt to rescue him from 

While the surgeons worked the news was spreading to the 
town. Every man and woman in the theater rushed forth to 
tell it. Some ran wildly down the streets, exclaiming to 
those they met, " The President is killed ! The President is 
killed ! " One rushed into a ball-room, and told it to the 
dancers ; another bursting into a room where a party of emi- 
nent oublic men were playing cards, cried, " Lincoln is 
shot!'' Another, running into the auditorium of Grover's 
Theater, cried, " President Lincoln has been shot in his pri- 
vate box at Ford's Theater." Those who heard the cry 
thought the man insane or drunk, but a moment later they 
saw the actors in a combat called from the stage, the mana- 
ger coming forward. His face was pale, his voice agonized, 
as he said, " Ladies and gentlemen, I feel it my duty to say 
to you that the announcement made from the front of the 
theater just now is true, President Lincoln has been shot." 
One ran to summon Secretary Stanton. A boy picked up at 
the door of the house where the President lay was sent to the 
White House for Robert Lincoln. The news spread by the 
very force of its own horror, and as it spread it met other 
news no less terrible. At the same hour that Booth had sent 
the ball into the President's brain, a man had forced his way 
into the house of Secretary Seward, then lying in bed with a 
broken arm, and had stabbed both the Secretary and his son 
Frederick so seriously that it was feared they would die. In 
his entrance and exit he had wounded three other members 
of the household. Like Booth, he had escaped. Horror bred 
rumor, and Secretary Stanton, too, was reported wounded, 
while later it was said that Grant had been killed on his way 
North. Dread seized the town. " Rumors are so thick," 
wrote the editor of the " National Intelligencer " at two 
o'clock in the morning, " the excitement of this hour is so in- 
tense, that we rely entirely uoon our reporters to advise the 


public of the details and result of this night of horrors. Evi- 
dently conspirators are among us. To what extent does the 
conspiracy exist ? This is a terrible question. When a spirit 
so horrible as this is abroad, what man is safe ? We can only 
advise the utmost vigilance and the most prompt measures by 
the authorities. We can only pray God to shield us, His un- 
worthy people, from further calamities like these." 

The civil and military authorities prepared for attack from 
within and without. Martial law was at once established. 
The long roll was beaten; every exit from the city was 
guarded ; out-going trains were stopped ; mounted police and 
cavalry clattered up and down the street ; the forts were or- 
dered on the alert ; guns were manned. 

In the meantime there had gathered in the house on 
Tenth Street, where the President lay, his family physician 
and intimate friends, as well as many prominent officials. Be- 
fore they reached him it was known there was no hope, that 
the wound was fatal. They grouped themselves about the 
bedside or in the adjoining rooms, trying to comfort the 
weeping wife, or listening awe-struck to the steady moaning 
and labored breathing of the unconscious man, which at 
times could be heard all over the house. Stanton alone 
seemed able to act methodically. No man felt the tragedy 
more than the great War Secretary, for no one in the cabinet 
was by greatness of heart and intellect so well able to com- 
prehend the worth of the dying President ; but no man in that 
distracted night acted with greater energy or calm. Sum- 
moning the Assistant Secretary, C. A. Dana, and a stenog- 
rapher, he began dictating orders to the authorities on all 
sides, notifying them of the tragedy, directing them what 
precautions to take, what persons to arrest. Grant, now re- 
turning to Washington, he directed should be warned to keep 
close watch on all persons who came close to him in the cars 
and to see that an engine be sent in front of his train. He 
sent out, too, an official account of the assassination. To-day 


the best brief account of the night's awful work remains the 
one which Secretary Stanton dictated within sound of the 
moaning of the dying President. 

And so the hours passed without perceptible change in the 
President's condition, and with only slight shifting of the 
scene around him. The testimony of those who had wit- 
nessed the murder began to be taken in an adjoining room. 
Occasionally the figures at the bedside changed. Mrs. Lin- 
coln came in at intervals, sobbing out her grief, and then was 
led away. This man went, another took his place. It was not 
until daylight that there came a perceptible change. Then 
the breathing grew quieter, the face became more calm. The 
doctors at Lincoln's side knew that dissolution was near. 
Their bulletin of six o'clock read, " Pulse failing; " that of 
half-past six, " Still failing; " that of seven, " Symptoms of 
immediate dissolution," and then at twenty-two minutes past 
seven, in the presence of his son Robert, Secretaries Stanton, 
Welles and Usher, Attorney-General Speed, Senator Sum- 
ner, Private Secretary Hay, Dr. Gurley, his pastor, and sev- 
eral physicians and friends, Abraham Lincoln died. There 
was a prayer, and then the solemn voice of Stanton broke the 
stillness, " Now he belongs to the ages." 

Two hours later the body of the President, wrapped in an 
American flag, was borne from the house in Tenth Street, 
and carried through the hushed streets, where already thou- 
sands of flags were at half-mast and the gay buntings and 
garlands had been replaced by black draperies, and where the 
men who for days had been cheering in excess of joy and re- 
lief now stood with uncovered heads and wet eyes. They car- 
ried him to an upper room in the private apartments of the 
White House, and there he lay until three days later a heart- 
broken people claimed their right to look for a last time on 
his face. 


AND 15, 1865. 

Lincoln's funeral 

The first edition of the morning papers in all the cities 
and towns of the North told their readers on Saturday, 
April 15, 1865, that Abraham Lincoln, President of the 
United States, lay mortally wounded in Washington. The 
extras within the next two hours told them he was dead. 
The first impulse of men everywhere seems to have been to 
doubt. It could not be. They realized only too quickly 
that it was true! There was no discrediting the circum- 
stantial accounts of the later telegrams. There was no es- 
cape from the horror and uncertainty which filled the air, 
driving out the joy and exultation which for days had inun- 
dated the country. 

In the great cities like New York a death-like silence fol- 
lowed the spreading of the news — a silence made the more 
terrible by the presence of hundreds of men and women walk- 
ing in the streets with bent heads, white faces, and knit 
brows. Automatically, without thought of what their neigh- 
bors were doing, these men went to their shops only to send 
away their clerks and close their doors for the day. Stock 
exchanges met only to adjourn. By ten o'clock business had 
ceased. It was not only in the cities, where the tension of 
feeling is always greatest, that this was true. It was the same 
in the small towns. 

" I was a compositor then, working in a printing office at 
Danville, Illinois," says Prof. A. G. Draper, of Washing- 
ton, D. C. " The editor came into the room early in the 
forenoon with a telegram in his hand ; he was regarding it 



intently, with a pale face. Without saying a word he passed 
it to one and another of the compositors. I noticed that as 
the men read it they laid down their sticks, and without a 
word went, one after another, took their coats and hats off 
the nails where they were hanging, put them on, and went 
into the street. Finally the telegram was passed to me. It 
was the announcement that Lincoln had been shot the night 
before and had died that morning. Automatically I laid 
down my stick, took my hat and coat, and went into the 
street. It seemed to me as if every man in town had 
dropped his business just where it was and come out. There 
was no sound; but the people, with pale faces and tense 
looks, regarded one another as if questioning what would 
happen next." 

Just as the first universal impulse seems to have been to 
cease all business, so the next was to drag down the banners 
of victory which hung everywhere and replace them by crape. 
New York City before noon of Saturday was hung in black 
from the Battery to Harlem. It was not only Broadway and 
Washington Square and Fifth Avenue which mourned. The 
soiled windows of Five Points tenements and saloons were 
draped, and from the doors of the poor hovels of upper Man- 
hattan west of Central Park bits of black weed were strung. 
And so it was in all the cities and towns of the North. 
" About nine o'clock on Saturday the intelligence reached 
us of the assassination of Mr. Lincoln and the attempt upon 
Mr. Seward's life," wrote Senator Grimes from Burlington, 
Iowa. " Immediately the people began to assemble about the 
' Hawkeye ' office, and soon Third Street became packed 
with people. And such expressions of horror, indignation, 
sorrow, and wonder were never heard before. Shortly, some 
one began to decorate his house with the habiliments of 
mourning; and soon all the business part of the town, even 
the vilest liquor dens, was shrouded with the outward signs 


of sorrow. All business was at once suspended, and not re- 
sumed during the day ; but every one waited for further in- 
telligence from Washington." 

And this was true not only of the towns, it was true of the 
distant farms. There the news was slower in coming. A 
traveller journeying from the town stopped to tell it at a 
farm-house. The farmer, leaving his plow, walked or rode 
across lots to repeat it to a neighbor. Everywhere they 
dropped their work, and everywhere they brought out a strip 
of black and tied it to the door-knob. 

The awful quiet of the North through the first few hours 
after the tragedy covered not grief alone; below it was a 
righteous anger, which, as the hours passed, began to break 
out. It showed itself first against those of Southern sympa- 
thy who were bold enough to say they were " glad of it." In 
New York a man was heard to remark that " it served old 
Abe right." Cries of " Lynch him, lynch him ! " were raised. 
He was set upon by the crowd, and escaped narrowly. All 
day the police were busy hustling suspected Copperheads 
away from the mobs which seemed to rise from the ground 
at the first word of treason. 

" I was kept busy last night," further wrote Senator 
Grimes from Burlington, * trying to prevent the destruction 
of the store of a foolish woman who, it was said, expressed 
her joy at Mr. Lincoln's murder. Had she been a man, so 
much was the old Adam aroused in me, I would not have ut- 
tered a word to save her." 

In Cincinnati, which had spent the day and night before in 
the most elaborate jubilation, the rage against treason broke 
out at the least provocation. " Some individuals of the ' but- 
ternut ' inclination," says a former citizen, in recalling these 
days, " were knocked into the gutters and kicked, because 
they would make no expression of sorrow, or because of their 
well-known past sympathy with the rebellion. Others as 


loyal as any suffered also, through mistaken ideas of mean- 
ness on the part of personal enemies. Junius Brutus Booth, a 
brother of the assassin, was closing a two-weeks' engage- 
ment at Pike Opera House. He was stopping at the Bur- 
net House. While there was no violent public demonstra- 
tion against him, it was well known that his life would not be 
worth a farthing should he be seen on the streets or in public. 
Of course the bills were taken down, and there was no per- 
formance that night. Mr. Booth was well pleased quietly to 
escape from the Burnet and disappear." 

In one New Hampshire town, where a company of volun- 
teers from the country had gathered to drill, only to be met 
by the news, it was rumored that a man in a factory near by 
had been heard to say, " The old abolitionist ought to have 
been killed long ago. ,, The volunteers marched in a body to 
the factory, entered, and dragged the offender out into the 
road. There they held a crude court-martial. " The company 
surrounded him," says one of the men, " in such military or- 
der as raw recruits could get into, and questioned him as to 
his utterances. He was willing to do or say anything. ' Duck 
him ! ' was the cry raised on every hand. The canal was close 
at hand, but there were voices heard saying : ' He's an old 
man. Don't duck him. Send him out of town/ And so it 
was done. He was compelled to give three cheers for the 
Stars and Stripes. I shall never forget his pitiful little * Hoo- 
ray ! ' He was made to kneel down and repeat something in 
praise of Abraham Lincoln that one of the officers dictated 
to him, and then he was marched to his boarding-place, given 
certain minutes to pack up his effects, and escorted to the 
railroad station, where he was sent off on the next train. 
This was a very mild example of the feeling there was. Had 
the man been a real American Copperhead, he would 
Scarcely have escaped a ducking, and perhaps a drubbing 


also ; but many said : ' He's only an Englishman, and doesn't 
know any better.' " 

The most important expression of the feeling was that at a 
great noon meeting held at the Custom House in New York. 
Among the speakers were General Butler, E. L. Chittenden, 
Daniel L. Dickinson, William P. Fessenden, and General 
Garfield. The awful, wrathful, righteous indignation of the 
meeting is told in the following citations from the speeches. 

" If rebellion can do this to the wise, the kind, the benevo- 
lent Abraham Lincoln," said Butler, " what ought we to do 
to those who from high places incited the assassin's mind and 
guided the assassin's knife? [Applause, and cries of ' Hang 
them!'] Shall we content ourselves with simply crushing 
out the strength, the power, the material resources of the re- 
bellion? [' Never, never.'] Shall we leave it yet unsubdued 
to light the torch of conflagration in our cities ? Are we to 
have peace in fact or peace only in name ? [Cries of ' In fact ' 
and applause.] Is this nation hereafter to live in peace, or 
are men to go about in fear and in dread, as in some of the 
countries of the Old World, in times past, when every man 
feared his neighbor, and no man went about except he was 
armed to the teeth or was clad in panoply of steel ? This ques- 
tion is to be decided this day, and at this hour by the Ameri- 
can people. It may be that this is a dispensation of God, 
through his providence, to teach us that the spirit of rebellion 
has not been broken with the surrender of its arms." [Ap- 

" Fellow citizens," said Garfield, " they have slain the 
noblest and most generous spirit that ever put down a rebel- 
lion on this earth. [Applause.] It may be almost impious to 
say it ; but it does seem to me that his death almost parallels 
that of the Son of God, who cried out, ' Father, forgive them, 
for they know not what they do.' But in taking away that 
life they have left the iron hand of the people to fall upon 
them. [Great applause.] Peace, forgiveness and mercy are 
the attributes of this government, but Justice and Judgment 
with inexorable tread follow behind, and when they have 


slain love, when they have despised mercy, when they have 
rejected those that would be their best friends, then comes 
justice with hoodwinked eyes and the sword." 

The tense despair and rage of the people on Saturday had 
not broken when they gathered on Sunday for worship. 
Never, perhaps, in any sorrow, any disaster that this nation 
has suffered, was there so spontaneous a turning to the 
church for consolation as on this Sabbath day. Never, per- 
haps, did the clergy of a country rise more universally to con- 
sole the grief of a people than on this day. Everywhere, 
from East to West, the death of the President was the theme 
of the sermons, and men who never before in their lives had 
said anything but commonplaces rose this day to eloquence. 
One of the most touching of the Sunday gatherings was at 
Bloomington, Illinois. Elsewhere it was only a President, a 
national leader, who had been lost; here it was a personal 
friend, and people refused to be comforted. On Sunday 
morning there were sermons in all the churches, but they 
seemed in no way to relieve the tension. Later in the day 
word was circulated that a general out-of-door meeting 
would be held at the court-house, and people gathered from 
far and near, townspeople and country people, in the yard 
about the court-house, where for years they had been accus- 
tomed to see Lincoln coming and going ; and the ministers of 
the town, all of them his friends, talked one after another, 
until finally, comforted and resigned, the people separated 
silently and went home. 

On Monday a slight distraction came in the announcement 
of the plan for the funeral ceremonies. After much discus- 
sion, it had been decided that a public funeral should be held 
in Washington, and that the body should then lie in state for 
brief periods at each of the larger cities on the way to 
Springfield, whither it was to be taken for burial. The neces- 
sity of at once beginning preparations for tb* reception of the 


funeral party furnished the first real relief to the universal 
grief which had paralyzed the country. 

The dead President had lain in an upper chamber of the 
White House from the time of his removal there on Satur- 
day morning until Tuesday morning, when he was laid un- 
der a magnificent catafalque in the centre of the great East 
Room. Although there were in Washington many citizens 
who sympathized with the South, although the plot for as- 
sassination had been developed there, yet no sign appeared 
of any feeling but grief and indignation. It is said that there 
were not fifty houses in the city that were not draped in 
black, and it seemed as if every man, woman, and child were 
seeking some souvenir of the tragedy. A child was found at 
the Tenth Street house staining bits of soft paper with the 
half-dried blood on the steps. Fragments of the stained linen 
from the bed on which the President died were passed from 
hand to hand; locks of the hair cut away by the surgeons 
were begged ; his latest photograph, the papers of the day, 
programmes of the funeral, a hundred trivial relics were 
gathered together, and are treasured to-day by the original 
owners or their children. They 

" dip their napkins in his sacred blood ; 
Yea, beg a hair of him for memory, 
And, dying, mention it within their wills, 
Bequeathing it, as a rich legacy, 
Unto their issue." 

On Tuesday morning, when the White House was opened, 
it was practically the whole population, augmented by hun- 
dreds from the North, who waited at the gates. All day long 
they surged steadily through the East Room, and at night, 
when the gates were closed, Lafayette Park and the adjoin- 
ing streets were still packed with people waiting for admis- 
sion. In this great company of mourners two classes were 


conspicuous, the soldiers and the negroes. One had come 
from camp and hospital, the other from country and hovel, 
and both wept unrestrainedly as they looked on the dead face 
of the man who had been to one a father, to the other a liber- 

Wednesday had been chosen for the funeral, and every de- 
vice was employed by the Government to make the ceremony 
fitting in pomp and solemnity. The greatest of the nation — 
members of the cabinet, senators, congressmen, diplomats; 
representatives of the churches, of the courts, of commerce, 
of all that was distinguished and powerful in the North, were 
present in the East Room. Mr. Lincoln's friend, Bishop 
Simpson, and his pastor, Dr. Gurley, conducted the services. 
More than one spectator noted that in the great assembly 
there was but one person bearing the name of Lincoln and re- 
lated to the President — his son Robert. Mrs. Lincoln was 
not able to endure the emotion of the scene, and little Tad 
could not be induced to be present. 

At two o'clock in the afternoon, the booming of cannon 
and the tolling of bells announced that the services were 
ended. A few moments later, the coffin was borne from the 
White House and placed in a magnificent funeral car, and 
under the conduct of a splendid military and civilian escort, 
conveyed slowly to the Capitol, attended by thousands upon 
thousands of men and women. At the east front of the Capi- 
tol the procession halted, and the body of Abraham Lincoln 
was borne across the portico, from which six weeks before in 
assuming for the second time the presidency, he had ex- 
plained to the country his views upon reconstruction : " With 
malice toward none ; with charity for all ; with firmness in the 
right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to 
finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds ; to 
care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his 
widow and his orphan — to do all which may achieve and 


cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with 
all nations." 

The rotunda of the Capitol, into which the coffin was now 
carried, was draped in black, and under the dome was a great 
catafalque. On this the coffin was placed, and after a simple 
service there left alone, save for the soldiers who paced back 
and forth at the head and foot. 

But it was not in Washington alone that funeral services 
were held that day. All over the North, in Canada, in the 
Army of the Potomac, even in Richmond, business was sus- 
pended, and at noon people gathered to listen to eulogies of 
the dead. Twenty-five million people literally participated in 
the funeral rites of that Wednesday. 

On Thursday the Capitol was opened, and here again, in 
spite of a steady rain, were repeated the scenes of Tuesday at 
the White House, thousands of persons slowly mounting the 
long flight of steps leading to the east entrance and passing 
through the rotunda. 

At six o'clock on the morning of April 2 1 , there gathered 
in the rotunda the members of the cabinet, Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Grant and his staff, many senators, army and navy offi- 
cers, and other dignitaries. After a prayer by Dr. Gurley, the 
party followed the coffin to the railway station, where the 
funeral train which was to convey the remains of Abraham 
Lincoln from Washington to Springfield now stood. A great 
company of people had gathered for the last scene of the 
tragedy, and they waited in absolute silence and with uncov- 
ered heads while the coffin was placed in the car. At its foot 
was placed a smaller coffin, that of Willie Lincoln, the Presi- 
dent's beloved son, who had died in February, 1862. At Mrs. 
Lincoln's request, father and son were to make together this 
last earthly journey. 

Following the remains of the President came the party 
which was to serve as an escort to Springfield. It included 


several of Lincoln's old-time friends, among them Judge Da- 
vid Davis and Ward Lamon; a Guard of Honor, composed 
of prominent army officers ; a large congressional committee, 
several governors of States, a special delegation from Illi- 
nois, and a bodyguard. From time to time on the journey 
this party was joined for brief periods by other eminent 
men, though it remained practically the same throughout. 
Three of its members — Judge Davis, General Hunter, and 
Marshal Lamon — had been with Mr. Lincoln when he came 
on to Washington for his first inauguration. 

Precisely at eight o'clock, the train of nine cars pulled out 
from the station. It moved slowly, almost noiselessly, not 
a bell ringing nor a whistle sounding, through a mourning 
throng that lined the way to the borders of the town. 

The line of the journey begun on this Friday morning 
was practically the same that Mr. Lincoln had followed four 
years before when he came to Washington for his first in- 
auguration. It led through Baltimore, Harrisburg, Phila- 
delphia, New York, Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, 
Indianapolis, and Chicago, to Springfield. The entire pro- 
gramme of the journey, including the hours when the train 
would pass certain towns where it could not stop, had been 
published long enough beforehand to enable the people along 
the way to arrange, if they wished, to pay a tribute to the 
dead President. The result was a demonstration which in 
sincerity and unanimity has never been equalled in the world's 
history. The journey began at six o'clock on the morning 
of April 21, and lasted until nine o'clock of the morning of 
May 3 : and it might almost be said that during the whole 
time there was not an hour of the night or day, whether the 
coffin lay in state in some heavily draped public building or 
was being whirled across the country, when mourning 
crowds were not regarding it with wet eyes and bowed heads. 
Night and darkness in no way lessened the number of the 


mourners. Thus it was not until eight o'clock on Saturday 
evening (April 22) that the coffin was placed in Independ- 
ence Hall, at Philadelphia. The building was at once opened 
to the public, and through the whole night thousands filed in 
to look on the dead man's face. It was at one o'clock in the 
morning, on Monday, that the coffin was carried from Inde- 
pendence Hall to the train, but thousands of men, women, 
and children stood in the streets while the procession passed, 
as if it were day. In New York, on the following Tuesday, 
City Hall, where the coffin had been placed in the afternoon, 
remained open the whole night. The crowd was even greater 
than during the day, filling the side streets around the square 
in every direction. It was more impressive, too, for the men 
and women who were willing to watch out the night in the 
flare of torches and gaslights were laborers who could not 
secure release in daytime. Many of them had come great 
distances, and hundreds were obliged, after leaving the hall, 
to find a bed in a doorway, so overfilled was the town. The 
crowd was at its greatest at midnight, when, as the bells were 
tolling the hour, a German chorus of some seventy voices 
commenced suddenly to sing the Integer vitae. The thrill- 
ing sweetness of the music coming unexpectedly upon the 
mourners produced an effect never to be forgotten. 

Nor did rain make any more difference with the crowd 
than the darkness. Several times during the journey there 
arose heavy storms; but the people, in utter indifference, 
stood in the streets, often uncovered, to see the catafalque 
and its guard go by or waiting their turn to be admitted to 
view the coffin. 

The great demonstrations were, of course, in the cities 
where the remains lay in state for a few hours. These 
demonstrations were perforce much alike. The funeral train 
was met at the station by the distinguished men of the city 
and representatives of organizations. The coffin was trans 


ferred to a stately hearse, draped in velvet and crape, sur- 
mounted by heavy plumes, ornamented in silver, and drawn 
by six, eight, ten, or more horses. Then, to the tolling of 
the bells and the regular firing of minute guns, followed by 
a vast concourse of people, it was carried to the place ap- 
pointed for the lying in state. Here a crowd which seemed 
unending filed by until the time came to close the coffin, when 
the procession reformed to attend the hearse to the funeral 

The first of these demonstrations was in Baltimore, the 
city which a little over four years before it had been thought 
unsafe for the President to pass through openly, the city 
in which the first troops called out for the defense of the 
Union had been mobbed. Now no offering was sufficient 
to express the feeling of sorrow. All buildings draped in 
black, all business suspended, the people poured out in a driv- 
ing rain to follow the catafalque to the Exchange, where for 
two hours, on April 21, the public was admitted. 

As was to be expected, the most elaborate of the series of 
funeral ceremonies was in New York. There, when the 
funeral train arrived on Tuesday, April 25, the whole city 
was swathed in crape, and vast crowds filled the streets. The 
climax of the obsequies was the procession which, on 
Wednesday, followed the hearse up Broadway and Fifth 
Avenue to Thirty-fourth Street and thence to the Hudson 
River station. For a week this procession had been prepar- 
ing, until finally it included representatives of almost every 
organization of every nature in the city and vicinity. The 
military was represented by detachments from scores of dif- 
ferent regiments, and by many distinguished officers of the 
army and navy, among them General Scott and Admiral 
Farragut. Companies of the Seventh Regiment were on 
each side of the funeral car. The city sent its officials — edu- 
cational, judicial, protective. The foreign consuls marched 


in full uniform. There were scores of societies and clubs, 
including all the organizations of Irish, German, and He- 
brews. The whole life of the city was, in fact, represented 
in the solid column of men which marched that day through 
the streets of New York in such numbers that it took four 
hours to pass a single point. Deepest in significance of all 
the long rank was the rear body in the last division: 200 
colored men bearing a banner inscribed with the words, 
" Abraham Lincoln-^Our Emancipator." A platoon of po- 
lice preceded, another followed the delegation, for the 
presence of these freedmen would, it was believed by many, 
cause disorder, and permission for them to march had only 
been obtained by an appeal to the Secretary of War, Mr. 
Stanton. Several white men walked with them, and at many 
points sympathizers took pains to applaud. With this single 
exception, the procession passed through a silent multitude, 
the only sound the steady tramp of feet and the music of the 
funeral dirges. 

At four o'clock the funeral car reached the station, and 
the journey was continued toward Albany. But the obse- 
quies in New York did not end then. A meeting was held 
that night in Union Square, at which George Bancroft deliv- 
ered an oration that will remain as one of the great expres- 
sions of the day upon Lincoln and the ideas for which he 
worked. It was for this gathering that Bryant wrote his 
"Ode for the Burial of Abraham Lincoln," beginning: 

" Oh, slow to smite and swift to spare, 
Gentle and merciful and just ; 
Who in the fear of God did'st bear 
The sword of power, a Nation's trust." 

Imposing, solemn, and sincere as was this series of muni- 
cipal demonstrations over the bier of Lincoln, there was an- 
other feature of the funeral march which showed more viv- 
idly the affectionate reverence in which the whole people 


held the President. This was the outpouring at villages, 
country cross-roads, and farms to salute, as it passed, the 
train bearing his remains. From Washington to Springfield 
the train entered scarcely a town that the bells were not toll- 
ing, the minute guns firing, the stations draped, and all the 
spaces beside the track crowded with people with uncovered 
heads. At many points arches were erected over the track ; 
at others the bridges were wreathed from end to end in crape 
and evergreens and flags. And this was not in the towns 
alone; every farm-house by which the train passed became 
for the time a funeral house ; the plow was left in the furrow, 
crape was on the door, the neighbors were gathered, and 
those who watched from the train as it flew by could see 
groups of weeping women, of men with uncovered heads, 
sometimes a minister among them, his arms raised in prayer. 
Night did not hinder them. Great bonfires were built in 
lonely country-sides, around which the farmers waited pa- 
tiently to salute their dead. At the towns the length of the 
train was lit by blazing torches. Storm as well as darkness 
was unheeded. Much of the journey was made through the 
rain, in fact, but the people seemed to have forgotten all 
things but that Abraham Lincoln, the man they loved and 
trusted, was passing by for the last time. 

At eleven o'clock on the morning of Monday, May i, the 
funeral train reached Chicago, and here the mourning began 
to take on a character distinctly different from what had 
marked it through the East. The people who now met the 
coffin, who followed it to the court-house, who passed in end- 
less streams by it to look on Lincoln's face, dated their trust 
in him many years earlier than 1861. Man after man of 
them had come to pay their last tribute, not to the late Presi- 
dent of the United States, but to the genial lawyer, the 
resourceful, witty political debater who had educated Illinois 
to believe that a countrv could not endure half slave and half 


free, and who, after defeat, had kept her faithful to the " dur- 
able struggle " by his counsel. The tears these men 
shed were the tears of long-time friends and personal 

As the train advanced from Chicago toward Springfield 
the personal and intimate character of the mourning grew. 
The journey was made at night, but the whole population of 
the country lined the route. Nearly every one of the towns 
passed — indeed, one might almost say every one of the farms 
passed — had been visited personally by Lincoln on legal or 
political errands, and a vast number of those who thus in 
the dead of night watched the flying train he had at some 
time in his life taken by the hand. 

It was nine o'clock on the morning of May 3 that the 
funeral train entered the town where, four years and two 
months before, Abraham Lincoln had bidden his friends 
farewell, as he left them to go to Washington. Nearly all 
of those who on that dreary February morning had listened 
to his solemn farewell words were present in the May sun- 
shine to receive him. Their hearts had been heavy as he de- 
parted ; they were broken now, for he was more than a great 
leader, an honored martyr, to the men of Springfield. He 
was their neighbor and friend and helper, and as they bore 
his coffin to the State House, in the centre of the city, their 
minds were busy, not with the greatness and honor that had 
come to him and to them through him, but with the scenes of 
more than a quarter of a century in which he had always 
been a conspicuous figure. Every corner of the street sug- 
gested that past. Here was the office in which he had first 
studied law ; here, draped in mourning, the one before which 
his name still hung. Here was the house where he had lived, 
the church he had attended, the store in which he had been 
accustomed to tell stories and to discuss politics. His name 
was written everywhere, even on the walls of the Hall of 


Representatives in the State House, where they placed his 
coffin, for here he had spoken again and again. 

During the time that the body lay in state — from the noon 
of May 3 until the noon of May 4 — the place Lincoln 
held in Springfield and the surrounding country was shown 
as never before. The men and women who came to look on 
his face were many of them the plain farmers of Sangamon 
and adjacent counties, and they wept as over the coffin of a 
father. Their grief at finding him so changed was incon- 
solable. In the days after leaving Washington the face 
changed greatly, and by the time Springfield was reached it 
was Mack and shrunken almost beyond recognition. To 
many the last look at their friend was so painful that the re- 
membrance has never left them. The writer has seen men 
weep as they recalled the scene, and heard them say repeat- 
edly, " If I had not seen him dead ; if I could only remember 
him alive ! " 

It was on May 4, fifteen days after the funeral in Wash- 
ington, that Abraham Lincoln's remains finally rested in 
Oakland Cemetery, a shaded and beautiful spot, two miles 
from Springfield. Here, at the foot of a woody knoll, a vault 
had been prepared; and thither, attended by a great con- 
course of military and civic dignitaries, by governors of 
States, members of Congress, officers of the army and navy, 
delegations from orders, from cities, from churches, by the 
friends of his youth, his young manhood, his maturer years, 
was Lincoln carried and laid, by his side his little son. The 
solemn rite was followed by dirge and prayer, by the reading 
of his last inaugural address, and by a noble funeral oration 
by Bishop Simpson. Then, as the beautiful day drew toward 
evening, the vault was closed, and the great multitudes 
slowly returned to their duties. 

The funeral pageant was at an end, but the mourning was 
not silenced. From every corner of the earth there came to 


the family and to the Government tributes to the greatness 
of the character and life of the murdered man. Medals 
were cast, tablets engraved, parchments engrossed. At the 
end of the year, when the State Department came to publish 
the diplomatic correspondence of 1865, there was a volume 
of over 700 pages, containing nothing but expressions of 
condolence and sympathy on Lincoln's death. Nor did the 
mourning and the honor end there. From the day of his 
death until now, the world has gone on rearing monuments 
to Abraham Lincoln. 

The first and inevitable result of the emotion which swept 
over the earth at Lincoln's death was to enroll him among 
martyrs and heroes. Men forgot that they had despised him, 
jeered at him, doubted him. They forgot his mistakes, for- 
got his plodding caution, forgot his homely ways. They saw 
now, with the vision which an awful and sudden disaster so 
often gives, the simple, noble outlines on which he had 
worked. They realized how completely he had sunk every 
partisan and personal consideration, every non-essential, in 
the tasks which he had set for himself — to prevent the exten- 
sion of slavery, to save the Union. They realized how, while 
they had forgotten everything in disputes over this man, this 
measure, this event, he had seen only the two great objects 
of the struggle. They saw how slowly, but surely, he had 
educated them to feel the vital importance of these objects, 
had resolved their partisan warfare into a moral struggle. 
The wisdom of his words, the sincerity of his acts, the stead- 
fastness of his life were clear to them at last. With this rea- 
lization came a feeling that he was more than a man. He 
was a prophet, they said, a man raised up by God for a 
special work, and they laid then the foundation of the Lin- 
coln myth which still enthralls so many minds. 

The real Lincoln, the great Lincoln, is not, however, this 
prophet and martyr. He is the simple, steady, resolute, un- 


selfish man whose supreme ambition was to find out the truth 
of the questions which confronted him in life, and whose 
highest satisfaction was in following the truth he discovered. 
He was not endowed by nature with the vision of a seer. 
His power of getting at the truth of things he had won by in- 
cessant mental effort. From his boyhood he would under- 
stand, though he must walk the floor all night with his prob- 
lem. Nor had nature made him a saint. His lofty moral 
courage in the Civil War was the logical result of life-long 
fidelity to his own conscience. From his boyhood he would 
keep faith with that which his mind told him was true, 
though he lost friend and place by it. When he entered pub- 
lic life these qualities at first won him position ; but they cost 
him a position more than once. They sent him to Congress ; 
but, in 1849, tne y forced him out of public life. They 
brought him face to face with Douglas from 1854 to 1858, 
and enabled him to shape the moral sentiment of the North- 
west ; but later they defeated him. They made him Illinois's 
candidate for the presidency in i860; but they brought upon 
him as President the distrust and hatred of even his own 
party. It took four years of dogged struggle, of constant 
repetitions of the few truths which he believed to be essential, 
to teach the people of the United States that they could trust 
him; it took a murderer's bullet to make them realize the 
surpassing greatness of his simplicity, his common sense, 
and his resolution. It is this man who never rested until he 
had found what he believed to be the right, and, who, having 
found it, could never be turned from it, who is the Real Lin- 



The following Letters, Telegrams and Speeches of Abraham Lin- 
coln have been collected by the author in the course of the work of 
preparing this Life of Lincoln. None of these documents appear 
in Lincoln's " Complete Works " edited by Nicolay and Hay or in 
any other collection of his writings. 

New Salem, Aug. 10, 1833. 
K. C. Blankenship: 

Dear Sir: — In regard to the time David Rankin served the en- 
closed discharge shows correctly — as well as I can recollect — having 
no writing to refer. The transfer of Rankin from my company 
occurred as follows — Rankin having lost his horse at Dixon's ferry 
and having acquaintance in one of the foot companies who were 
going down the river was desirous to go with them, and one Gal- 
ishen being an acquaintance of mine and belonging to the com- 
pany in which Rankin wished to go wished to leave it and join 
mine, this being the case it was agreed that they should exchange 
places and answer to each others names — as it was expected we all 
would be discharged in very few days. As to a blanket — I have 
no knowledge of Rankin ever getting any. The above embraces 
all the facts now in my recollection which are pertinent to the 

I shall take pleasure in giving any further information in my 
power should you call on me. 

Your friend, A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by DeWitt C. Sprague, Washington, D. 0.) 

Mr. Spears: 

At your request I send you a receipt for the postage on your 
paper. I am somewhat surprised at your request. I will, however, 
comply with it. The law requires Newspaper postage to be paid in 
advance, and now that I have waited a full year you choose to 
wound my feelings by insinuating that unless you get a receipt 
I will probably make you pay it again — 

Respectfully, A. Lincoln. 

?6 S 


Received of George Spears in full for postage on the " Sangamoil 
Journal " up to the first of July, 1834. 

A. Lincoln, P. M. 

(From fac-simile of letter printed in Menard- Salem-Lincoln 
Souvenir Album. Petersburg, 1893.) 

Report of Road Survey, written by Abraham Lincoln. 

To the County Commissioner's Court for the County of Sanga- 
mon : — 
We, the undersigned, being appointed to view and relocate a part 
of the road between Sangamon town and the town of Athens 
respectfully report that we have performed the duty of said ap- 
pointment according to law — and that we have made the said re- 
location on good ground — and believe the same to be necessary and 

James Strowbridge, * 
Levi Cantrall, 
Athens, Nov. 4, 1834. A. Lincoln. 

Herewith is the map — The court may allow me the following 
charges if they think proper — 

1 day's labour as surveyor $3.00 

Making map .50 

A. Lincoln. 
(Original in office of county clerk, Springfield, 111.) 

John Bennett, Esq. 

Springfield, III., Aug. 5, 1837. 

Dear Snt : — Mr. Edwards tells me you wish to know whether the 
act to which your town incorporation provision was attached 
passed into a law. It did. You can organize under the general 
incorporation law as soon as you choose. I also tacked a provision 
onto a fellow's bill to authorize the re-location of the road from 
Salem down to your town, but I am not certain whether or not the 
bill passed, neither do I suppose I can ascertain before the law will 
be published, if it is a law. Bowling Greene, Bennett Abell, and 
yourself are appointed to make the change. 

No news. No excitement except a little about the election of 
Monday next. I suppose of course our friend, Dr. Henry, stands 
no chance in your " diggings." 

Your friend and humble servant, 

A. Lincoln, 

(Original owned by E. R. Oeltjen. Petersburg, Illinois.) 



" Sangamo Journal/' Springfield, III., Aug. 19. 1837. 

In accordance with our determination, as expressed last week, we 
present to the reader the articles which were published in hand-bill 
form, in reference to the case of the heirs of Joseph Anderson vs. 
James Adams. These articles can now be read, uninfluenced by 
personal or party feeling, and with the sole motive of learning the 
truth. When that is done, the reader can pass his own judgment 
on the matters at issue. 

We only regret in this case, that the publications were not made 
some weeks before the election. Such a course might have pre- 
vented the expressions of regret, which have often been heard since, 
from different individuals, on account of the disposition they made 
of their votes. 


It is well known to most of you, that there is existing at this 
time, considerable excitement in regard to Gen. Adams's titles to 
certain tracts of land, and the manner in which he acquired them. 
As I understand, the Gen. charges that the whole has been gotten 
up by a knot of lawyers to injure his election ; and as I am one of 
the knot to which he refers — and as I happen, to be in possession 
of facts connected with the matter, I will, in as brief a manner as 
possible, make a statement of them, together with the means by 
which I arrived at the knowledge of them. 

Sometime in May or June last, a widow woman, by the name of 
Anderson, and her son, who resides in Fulton county, came to 
Springfield, for the purpose, as they said, of selling a ten acre 
lot of ground lying near town, which they claimed as the property 
of the deceased husband and father. 

When they reached town they' found the land was claimed by 
Gen. Adams. John T. Stuart and myself were employed to look 
into the matter, and if it was thought we could do so with any 
prospect of success, to commence a suit for the land. I went imme- 
diately to the recorder's office to examine Adams's title, and found 
that the land had been entered by one Dixon, deeded by Dixon to 
Thomas, by Thomas to one Miller, and by Miller to Gen. Adams. 
— The oldest of these three deeds was about ten or eleven years old, 
and the latest more than five, all recorded at the same time, and 
that within less than one year. This I thought a suspicious cir- 
cumstance, and I was thereby induced to examine the deeds very 
closely, with a view to the discovery of some defect by which to 
overturn the title, being almost convinced then it was founded in 
fraud. I finally discovered that in the deed from Thomas to Mil- 
ler, although Miller's name stood in a sort of marginal note on 
the record book, it was nowhere in the deed itself. I told the fact 


to Talbott, the recorder, and proposed to him that he should go to 
Gen. Adams's and get the original deed, and compare it with the 
record, and thereby ascertain whether the defect was in the orig- 
inal, or there was merely an error in the recording. As Talbott 
afterwards told me, he went to the General's, but not finding him 
at home, got the deed from his son, which, when compared with the 
record, proved what we had discovered was merely an error of the 
recorder. After Mr. Talbott corrected the record, he brought the 
original to our office, as I then thought and think yet, to show us 
that it was right. When he came into the room he handed the 
deed to me, remarking that the fault was all his own. On opening 
it, another paper fell out of it, which on examination, proved to 
be an assignment of a judgment in the Circuit Court of Sangamon 
County from Joseph Anderson, the late husband of the widow 
above named, to James Adams, the judgment being in favor of 
said Anderson against one Joseph Miller. Knowing that this 
judgment had some connection with the land affair, I immediately 
took a copy of it, which is word for word, letter for letter and cross 
for cross as follows: 

" Joseph Anderson, 


Joseph Miller. 

Judgment in Sangamon Circuit Court 
against Joseph Miller obtained on a note 
originally 25 dolls and interest thereon 

I assign all my right, title and interest 
to James Adams which is in consideration 
of a debt I owe said Adams. 

May 10th* 1827. his 

Joseph X Anderson. 

As the copy shows, it bore date May 10, 1827; although the 
judgment assigned by it was not obtained until the October after- 
wards, as may be seen by any one on the records of the Circuit 
Court. Two other strange circumstances attended it which cannot 
be represented by a copy. One of them was, that the date " 1827 ,J 
had first been made " 1837 " and without the figure " 3 " being fully 
obliterated, the figure " 2 " had afterwards been made on top of it ; 
the other was that, although the date was ten years old, the writing 
on it, from the freshness of its appearance, was thought by many, 
and I believe by all who saw it, not to be more than a week old. 
The paper on which it was written had a very old appearance ; and 
there were some old figures on the back of it which made the 
freshness of the writing on the face of it, much more striking 
than I suppose it otherwise might have been. The reader's curi- 


oeity is no doubt excited to know what connection this assignment 
had with the land in question. The story is this : Dixon sold and 
deeded the land to Thomas -.—Thomas sold it to Anderson; but 
before he gave a deed, Anderson sold it to Miller, and took Miller's 
note for the purchase money. — When this note became due, Ander- 
son sued Miller on it, and Miller procured an injunction from the 
Court of Chancery to stay the collection of the money until he 
should get a deed for the land. Gen. Adams was employed as an 
attorney by Anderson in this chancery suit, and at the October 
term, 1827, the injunction was dissolved, and a judgment given 
in favor of Anderson against Miller; and it was provided that 
Thomas was to execute a deed for the land in favor of Miller, and 
deliver it to Gen. Adams, to be held up by him till Miller paid the 
judgment, and then to deliver it to him. Miller left the county 
without paying the judgment. Anderson moved to Fulton county, 
where he has since died. When the widow came to Springfield last 
May or June, as before mentioned, and found the land deeded to 
Gen. Adams by Miller, she was naturally led to enquire why the 
money due upon the judgment had not been sent to them, inas- 
much as he, Gen. Adams, had no authority to deliver Thomas's 
deed to Miller until the money was paid. Then it was the General 
told her, or perhaps her son, who came with her, that Anderson, 
in his lifetime, had assigned the judgment to him, Gen. Adams. 
I am now told that the General is exhibiting an assignment of the 
same judgment bearing date " 1828 ;" and in other respects differing 
from the one described; and that he is asserting that no such 
assignment as the one copied by me ever existed ; or if there did, 
it was forged between Talbott and the lawyers, and slipped into his 
papers for the purpose of injuring him. Now, I can only say that 
I know precisely such a one did exist, and that Ben. Talbott, Wm. 
Butler, C. K. Matheny, John T. Stuart, Judge Logan, Robert Irwin, 
P„ C. Canedy and S. M. Tinsley, all saw and examined it, and that 
at least one half of them will swear that IT WAS IN GENERAL 
ADAMS'S HANDWRITING! ! And further, I know that Tal- 
bott will swear that he got it out of the General's possession, and 
returned it into his possession again. The assignment which the 
General is now exhibiting purports to have been by Anderson in 
writing. The one I copied was signed with a cross. 

I am told that Gen. Neale says that he will swear, that he heard 
Gen. Adams tell young Anderson that the assignment made by his 
father was signed with a cross. 

The above are facts, as stated. I leave them without comment. 
I have given the names of persons who have knowledge of these 
facts, in order that any one who chooses may call on them and 
ascertain how far they will corroborate my statements. I have 
only made these statements because I am known by many to be 
one of the indivi duals against whom the charge of forging the 
assignment and slipping it into the General's papers, has been 
made; anr* r ^\iuse our silence might he construed into a confes 



sion of its truth. I shall not subscribe my name; but '1 hereby 
authorize the editor of the ' J ournal * to give it up to any one that 
may call for it." 

"It having been stated this morning that the subscriber had 
refused to give the name of the author of the hand-bill above re- 
ferred to (which statement is not true) : to save any farther re- 
marks on this subject, I now state that A. Lincoln, Esq., is the 
author of the hand-bill in question. Simeon Francis. 

"August?, 1837." 

Messrs. Lincoln and Talbott in reply to Gen. Adams. 
(i Sangamo Journal/' Springfield, III., Sept. 9, 1837. 

In the " Kepublican " of this morning a publication of Gen. 
Adams's appears, in which my name is used quite unreservedly. 
For this I thank the General. I thank him because it gives me an 
opportunity, without appearing obtrusive, of explaining a part of 
a former publication of mine, which appears to me to have been 
misunderstood by many. 

In the former publication alluded to, I stated, in substance, that 
Mr. Talbott got a deed from a son of Gen. Adams's for the purpose 
of correcting a mistake that had occurred on the record of the said 
deed in the recorder's office — that he corrected the record, and 
brought the deed and handed it to me — and that, on opening the 
deed, another paper, being the assignment of a judgment, fell out 
of it. This statement Gen. Adams and the editor of the " Republi- 
can," have seized upon as a most palpable evidence of fabrication 
and falsehood. They set themselves gravely about proving that 
the assignment could not have been in the deed when Talbott 
got it from young Adams, as he, Talbott, would have seen it when 
he opened the deed to correct the record. Now, the truth is, Tal- 
bott did see the assignment when he opened the deed, or at least 
he told me he did on the same day; and I only omitted to say so, 
in my former publication, because it was a matter of such palpable 
and necessary inference. I had stated that Talbott had corrected 
the record by the deed; and of course he must have opened it; 
and, just as the General and his friends argue, must have seen the 
assignment. I omitted to state the fact of Talbott's seeing the 
assignment, because its existence was so necessarily connected 
with other facts which I did state, that I thought the greatest 
dunce could not but understand it. Did I say Talbott had not 
seen it ? Did I say anything that was inconsistent with his having 
seen it before? Most certainly I did neither; and if I did not, 
what becomes of the argument? These logical gentlemen cannot 
sustain their argument only by assuming that I did say negatively 
everything that I did not say affirmatively; and upon the same 
assumption, we may expect to find the General, if a little harder 


pressed for argument, saying that I said Talbott came to our office 
with his head downward, not that I actually said so, but because 1 
omitted to say he came feet downward. 

In his publication to-day, the General produces the affidavit of 
Eeuben Radford, in which it is said that Talbott told Radford that 
he did not find the assignment in the deed, in the recording of 
which the error was omitted, but that he found it wrapped in 
another paper in the recorder's office, upon which statement the 
Genl. comments, as follows, to-wit : — " If it be true as stated by 
Talbott to Radford, that he found the assignment wrapped up ir 
another paper at his office, that contradicts the statement of Lin- 
coln that it fell out of the deed." 

Is common sense to be abused with such sophistry? Did I say 
what Tabott found it in? If Talbott did find it in another paper 
at his office, is that any reason why he could not have folded it in 
a deed and brought it to my office, can any one be so far duped, as 
to be made believe that what may have happened at Talbotfs office 
at one time, is inconsistent with what happened at my office at 
another time? 

Now Talbott's statement of the case ss he makes it to me is this, 
that he got a bunch of deeds from young Adams, and that he knows 
he found the assignment in the bunch, but he is not certain which 
particular deed it was in, nor is he certain whether it was folded 
in the same deed out of which it was took, or another one, when it 
was brought to my office. Is this a mysterious story? Is there 
anything suspicious about it? 

" But it is useless to dwell longer on this point. Any man who 
is not wilfully blind can see at a blush, that there is no discrepancy 
and Lincoln has shown that they are not only inconsistent with 
truth, but each other " — I can only say, that I have shown that he 
has done no such thing; and if the reader is disposed to require 
any other evidence than the General's assertion, he will be of my 

Excepting the General's most flimsy attempt at mystification, in 
regard to a discrepance between Talbott and myself, he has not 
denied a single statement that I made in my hand-bill. Every 
material statement that I made has been sworn to by men who, in 
former times, were thought as respectable as General Adams. I 
stated that an assignment of a judgment, a copy of which I gave, 
had existed — Benj. Talbott, C. R. Matheny, Wm. Butler, and Judge 
Logan, swore to its existence, I stated that it was said to be in Gen. 
Adams's handwriting — the same men swore it was in his handwrit- 
ing. I stated that Talbott would swear that he got it out of Gen. 
Adams's possession — Talbott came forward and did swear it. 

Bidding adieu to the former publication, I now propose to exam- 
ine the General's last gigantic production. I now propose to point 
out some discrepancies in the General's address; and such too, 
as he shall not be able to escape from. Speaking of the famous as- 
signment, the General says a This last charge, which was their last 


resort, tJieir dying effort to render my character infamous among 
my fellow citizens, was manufactured at a certain lawyer's office in 
the town, printed at the office of the ' Sangamon Journal,' and 
found its way into the world some time between two days just 
before the last election/' Now turn to Mr. Keys's affidavit in 
which you will find the following, (viz.) " I certify that some timo 
in May or the early part of June, 1837, I saw at Williams's corner, 
a paper purporting to be an assignment from Joseph Anderson to 
James Adams, which assignment, was signed by a mark to Ander- 
son's name," etc. Now mark, if Keys saw the assignment on the 
last of May or first of June, Gen. Adams tells a falsehood when he 
says it was manufactured just before the election, which was on the 
7th of August; and if it was manufactured just before the elec- 
tion, Keys tells a falsehood when he says he saw it on the last of 
May or first of June. Either Keys or the General is irretrievably 
in for it; and in the General's very condescending language, I 
say " let them settle it between them." 

Now again, let the reader, bearing in mind that General Adams 
has unequivocally said, in one part of his address, that the charge 
in relation to the assignment was manufactured just before the 
election; turn to the affidavit of Peter S. Weber, where the fol- 
lowing will be found, (viz.) " I, Peter S. Weber, do certify that 
from the best of my recollection, on the day or day after Gen. 
Adams started for the Illinois Rapids, in May last, that I was at 
the house of Gen. Adams, sitting in the kitchen, situated on the 
back part of the house, it being in the afternoon, and that Benja- 
min Talbott came around the house, back into the kitchen, and 
appeared wild and confused, and that he laid a package of papers 
on the kitchen table and requested that they should be handed to 
Luciam He made no apology for coming to the kitchen, nor for 
not handing them to Lucian himself, but showed the token of 
being frightened and confused both in demeanor and speech and 
for what cause I could not apprehend." 

Commenting on Weber's affidavit, Gen. Adams asks, " Why this 
fright and confusion ? " I reply that this is a question for the 
General himself. Weber says that it was in May, and if so, it is 
most clear, that Talbott was not frightened on account of the 
assignment, unless the General lies when he says the assignment 
charge was manufactured just before the election. Is it not a 
strong evidence, that the General is not traveling with the pole- 
star of truth in his front, to see him in one part of his address 
roundly asserting that the assignment was manufactured just 
before the election, and then, forgetting that position, procuring 
Weber's most foolish affidavit, to prove that Talbott had been en- 
gaged in manufacturing it two months before? 

In another part of his address, Gen. Adams says, " That I hold 
an assignment of said judgment, dated the 20th of May, 1828, and 
signed by said Anderson, I have never pretended to deny or con- 
ceal, but stated that fact in one of mv circulars previous to the 


election, and also in answer to a bill in chancery/* Now I pro- 
nounce this statement unqualifiedly false, and shall not rely on the 
word or oath of any man to sustain me in what I say; but will let 
the whole be decided by reference to the circular and answer in 
chancery of which the General speaks. In his circular he did 
speak of an assignment; but he did not say it bore date 20th of 
May, 1828; nor did he say it bore any date. In his answer in 
chancery, he did say that he had an assignment; but he did not 
say that it bore date the 20th May, 1828; but so far from it, h^ 
said on oath (for he swore to the answer) that as well as recollected 
he obtained it in 1827. If any one doubts, let him examine the 
circular and answer for himself They are both accessible. 

It will readily be observed that the principal part of Adams's 
defense, rests upon the argument, that if he had been base enough 
to forge an assignment, he would not have been fool enough to 
forge one that would not cover the case. This argument he used 
in his circular before the election. The " Republican " has used 
it at least once, since then; and Adams uses it again in his publi- 
cation of to-day. Now I pledge myself to show that he is just such 
a fool, that he and his friends have contended it was impossible 
for him to be. Recollect — he says he has a genuine assignment; 
and that he got Joseph Klein's affidavit, stating that he had seen it, 
and that he believed the signature to have been executed by the 
same hand, that signed Anderson's name to the answer in Chan- 
cery. Luckily Klein took a copy of this genuine assignment, 
which I have been permitted to see; and hence I know it does not 
cover the case. In the first place it is headed " Joseph Anderson 
vs. Joseph Miller," and heads off " Judgment in Sangamon Circuit 
Court." Now, mark, there never was a case in Sangamon Circuit 
Court entitled Joseph Anderson vs. Joseph Miller. The case men- 
tioned in my former publication, and the only one between these 
parties that ever existed in the Circuit Court, was entitled Joseph 
Miller vs. Joseph Anderson, Miller being the plaintiff. What then 
becomes of all their sophistry about Adams not being fool enough 
to forge an assignment that would not cover the case? It is cer- 
tain that the present one does not cover the case ; and if he got it 
honestly, it is still clear that he was fool enough to pay for an 
assignment that does not cover the case. 

The General asks for the proof of disinterested witnesses. Who 
does he consider disinterested? None can be more so than those 
who have already testified against him. No one of them had the 
least interest on earth, so far as I can learn, to injure him. True, 
he says they had conspired against him; but if the testimony 
of an angel from Heaven were introduced against him, he would 
make the same charge of conspiracy. And now I put the ques- 
tion to every reflecting man, do you believe that Benjamin Tal- 
bott, Chas. R. Matheny, William Butler and Stephen T. Logan 
all sustaining high and spotless characters, and justly proud of 
them, would deliberately perjure themselves, without any motive 


whatever, except to injure a man's election; and that, too, a mail 
who had been a candidate, time out of mind, and yet who had 
never been elected to any office ? 

Adams's assurance, in demanding disinterested testimony, is 
surpassing. He brings in the affidavit of his own son, and even 
of Peter S. Weber, with whom I am not acquainted, but who, 
I suppose, is some black or mulatto boy, from his being kept in 
the kitchen, to prove his points ; but when such a man as Talbott, a 
man who, but two years ago, run against Gen. Adams for the 
office of Recorder and beat him more than four votes to one, is 
introduced against him, he asks the community, with all the con- 
sequence of a Lord, to reject his testimony. 

I might easily write a volume, pointing out inconsistencies be- 
tween the statements in Adams's last address with one another, and 
with other known facts; but I am aware the reader must already 
be tired with the length of this article, his opening statements, 
that he was first accused of being a tory, and that he refuted 
that; that then the Sampson's ghost story was got up, and he 
refuted that; that as a last resort, a dying effort, the assignment 
charge was got up is all as false as hell, as all this community 
must know. Sampson's ghost first made its appearance in print, 
and that too, after Keys swears he saw the assignment, as any 
one may see by reference to the files of papers; and Gen. Adams 
himself, in reply to the Sampson's ghost story, was the first man 
that raised the cry of toryism and it was only by way of set off, 
and never in seriousness that it was banded back at him. His 
effort is to make the impression that his enemies first made the 
charge of toryism and he drove them from that, then Sampson's 
ghost, he drove them from that, then finally the assignment charge 
was manufactured just before the election. Now, the only general 
reply he ever made to the Sampson's ghost and tory charges, he 
made at one and the same time, and not in succession as he states ; 
and the date of that reply will show, that it was made at least a 
month after the date on which Keys swears he saw the Anderson 
assignment. But enough. In conclusion I will only say that I have 
a character to defend as well as Gen. Adams, but I disdain to whim 
about it as he does. It is true I have no children nor Jcitcher 
boys; and if I had, I should scorn to lug them in to make affida- 
vits for me. A. Lincoln. 

September 6, 1837. 

Sanqamo Journal, Springfield, III., Oct. 28, 1837. 

Such is the turn which things have lately taken, that when Gen, 
Adams writes a book, I am expected to write a commentary on 
it. In the " Republican " of this morning he has presented the world 
with a new work of sis columns in length : in consequence of which 


I must beg the room of one column in the " Journal" It is ob 
vious that a minute reply cannot be made in one column to every 
thing that can be said in six; and, consequently, I hope that ex 
pectation will be answered, if I reply to such parts of the General': 
publication as are worth replying to. 

It may not be improper to remind the reader that in his publica- 
tion of Sept. 6th General Adams said that the assignment charge 
was manufactured just before the election; and that in reply I 
proved that statement to be false by Keys, his own witness. Now, 
without attempting to explain, he furnishes me with another wit- 
ness (Tinsley) by which the same thing is proved, to wit, that 
the assignment was not manufactured just before the election; 
but that it was some weeks before. Let it be borne in mind that 
Adams made this statement — has himself furnished two witnesses 
to prove its falsehood, and does not attempt to deny or explain it. 
Before going farther, let a pin be stuck here, labeled " one lie 
proved and confessed." On the 6th of September he said he had 
before stated in the hand bill that he held an assignment dated 
May 20th, 1828, which in reply I pronounced to be false, and 
referred to the hand bill for the truth of what I said. This week 
he forgets to make any explanation of this. Let another pin be 
stuck here, labeled as before. I mention these things, because, if, 
when I convict him in one falsehood, he is permitted to shift his 
ground and pass it by in silence, there can be no end to this con- 

The first thing that attracts my attention in the General's pres- 
ent production, is the information he is pleased to give to " Those 
who are made to suffer at his (my) hands" 

Under present circumstances, this cannot apply to me, for I 
am not a widow nor an orphan : nor have I a wife or children who 
might by possibility become such. Such, however, I have no 
doubt, have been, and will again be made to suffer at his hands! / 
Hands! Yes, they are the mischievous agents. — The next thing 
I shall notice is his favorite expression, "not of lawyers, doctors 
and others," which he is so fond of applying to all who dare ex- 
pose his rascality. Now, let it be remembered that when he first 
came to this country he attempted to impose himself upon the 
community as a lawyer, and actually carried the attempt so far, 
as to induce a man who was under a charge of murder to entrust 
the defense of his life in his hands, and finally took his money 
and got him hanged. Is this the man that is to raise a breeze 
in his favor by abusing lawyers ? If he is not himself a lawyer, it 
is for the lack of sense, and not of inclination. If he is not a 
lawyer, he is a liar for he proclaimed himself a lawyer, and got 
a man hanged by depending on him. 

Passing over such parts of the article as have neither fact nor 
argument in them, I come to the question asked by Adame 
whether any person ever saw the assignment in his possession 
This is an insult to common sense. Talbott has sworr^ once and 


repeated time and again, that he got it out of Adams's possession 
and returned it into the same possession. Still, as though he was 
addressing fools, he has assurance to ask if any person ever saw 
it in his possession. — Next I quote a sentence, " Now my son 
Lucian swears that when Talbott called for the deed, that he, Tal- 
bott, opened it and pointed out the error." True. His son Lucian 
did swear as he says; and in doing so, he swore what I will prove 
by his own affidavit to be a falsehood. Turn to Lucian's affidavit, 
and you will there see that Talbott called for the deed by which 
to correct an error on the record. Thus it appears that the error 
in question was on the record, and not in the deed. How then 
could Talbott open the deed and point out the error? Where a 
thing is not, it cannot be pointed out. The error was not in the 
deed, and of course could not be pointed out there. This does not 
merely prove that the error could not be pointed out, as Lucian 
swore it was; but it proves, too, that the deed was not opened in 
his presence with a special view to the error, for if it had been, 
he could not have failed to see that there was no error in it. It 
is easy enough to see why Lucian swore this. His object was to 
prove that the assignment was not in the deed, when Talbott got 
it: but it was discovered he could not swear this safely, without 
first swearing the deed was opened— and if he swore it was 
opened, he must show a motive for opening it, and the conclusion 
with him and his father was, that the pointing out the error, 
would appear the most plausible. 

For the purpose of showing that the assignment was not in the 
bundle when Talbott got it, is the story introduced into Lucian's 
affidavit that the deeds were counted. It is a remarkable fact, 
and one that should stand as a warning to all liars and fabricators, 
that in this short affidavit of Lucian's, he only attempted to depart 
from the truth 5 so far as I have the means of knowing, in two 
points, to-wit, in the opening the deed and, pointing out the error; 
and the counting of the deeds,— and in both of these he caught 
himself. About the counting, he caught himself thus — after say- 
ing the bundle contained five deeds and a lease, he proceeds, 
" and I saw no other papers than the said deed and lease." First 
he has six papers, and then he saw none but two for "my son 
Lucian's 59 benefit, let a pin be stuck here. 

Adams again adduces the argument, that he could not have 
forged the assignment, for the reason that he could have had no 
motive for it. With those that know the facts there is no ab- 
sence of motive. Admitting the paper, which he has filed in the 
suit to be genuine, it is clear that it cannot answer the purpose 
for which he designs it. Hence his motive for making one that 
he supposed would answer, is obvious.— His making the date too 
old is also easily enough accounted for. The records were not in 
his hands, and then there being some considerable talk upon this 
particular subject, he knew he could not examine the records to 
ascertain the precise dates without subjecting himself to sus- 


pioion; and hence he concluded to try it by guess, and as it turned 
out, missed it a little. About Miller's deposition, I have a word to 
say. In the first place, Miller's answer to the first question shows 
upon its face, that he had been tampered with, and the answer 
dictated to him. He was asked if he knew Joel Wright and 
James Adams; and above three-fourths of his answer consists 
of what he knew about Joseph Anderson, a man about whom 
nothing had been asked, nor a word said in the question — a fact 
that can only be accounted for upon the supposition, that Adams 
had secretly told him what he wished him to swear to. 

Another of Miller's answers I will prove both by common sense 
and the Court of Record is untrue. To one question he answers, 
" Anderson brought a suit against me before James Adams, then 
an acting Justice of the Peace in Sangamon County, before whom 
he obtained a judgment. 

Q. — Did you remove the same by injunction to the Sangamon 
Circuit Court? Ans. — I did remove it. Now mark — it is said 
he removed it by injunction. The word " injunction " in common 
language imports a command that some person or thing shall not 
move or be removed; in law it has the same meaning. An in- 
junction issuing out of Chancery to a Justice of the Peace, is a 
command to him to stop all proceedings in a named case until 
further orders. It is not an order to remove but to stop or stay 
something that is already moving. Besides this, the records of the 
Sangamon Circuit Court show, that the judgment of which Miller 
swore was never removed into said Court by injunction or other- 

I have now to take notice of a part of Adams's address which in 
the order of time should have been noticed before. It is in these 
words, "I have now shown, in the opinion of two competent 
judges, that the handwriting of the forged assignment differed from 
mine, and by one of them that it could not be mistaken for mine" 
That is false, Tinsley no doubt is the judge referred to; and by 
reference to his certificate it will be seen that he did not say the 
handwriting of the assignment could not be mistaken for Adams's — 
nor did he use any other expression substantially, or anything near 
substantially the same. But if Tinsley had said the handwriting 
could not be mistaken for Adams's, it would have been equally 
unfortunate for Adams: for it then would have contradicted 
Keys, who says, "I looked at the writing and judged it the said 
Adams's or a good imitation." 

Adams speaks with much apparent confidence ox his success on 
attending law suits, and the ultimate maintenance of his title to 
the land in question. Without wishing to disturb the pleasure of 
his dream, I would say to him that it is not impossible, that he 
may yet be taught to sing a different song in relation to the 

At the end of Miller's deposition, Adams asks, "Will Mr. Lin- 
coln now say that he is almost convinced my title to tuis ten acre 


tract of land is founded in fraud ? " I answer, I will not. I wiH 
now change the phraseology so as to make it run— I am quite 
convinced, &c. I cannot pass in silence Adams's assertion that 
he has proved that the forged assignment was not in the deed 
when it came from his house by Talbott, the Recorder. In this, 
although Talbott has sworn that the assignment was in the bundle 
of deed when it came from his house, Adams has the unaccountable 
assurance to say that he has proved the contrary by Talbott. 
Let him or his friends attempt to show, wherein he proved any 
such thing by Talbott. 

In his publication of the 6th of September he hinted to Tal- 
bott, that he might be mistaken. In his present, speaking of Tal- 
bott and me he says " They may have been imposed upon." Can 
any man of the least penetration fail to see the object of this? 
After he has stormed and raged till he hopes and imagines he has 
got us a little scared he wishes to softly whisper in our ears, " If 
you'll quit I will." If he could get us to say, that some unknown, 
undefined being had slipped the assignment into our hands without 
our knowledge, not a doubt remains but that he would immedi- 
ately discover, that we were the purest men on earth. This is 
the ground he evidently wishes us to understand he is willing 
to compromise upon. But we ask no such charity at his hands. 
We are neither mistaken nor imposed upon. We have made the 
statements we have, because we know them to be true and we 
choose to live or die by them. 

Esq. Carter, who is Adams's friend, personal and political, will 
recollect, that, on the 5th of this month, he, (Adams) with a 
great affectation of modesty, declared that he would never intro- 
duce his own child as a witness. Notwithstanding this affectation 
of modesty, he has in his present publication introduced his child 
as witness; and as if to show with ho T - much contempt he could 
treat his own declaration, he has had this same Esq. Carter to 
administer the oath to him. And so important a witness does he 
consider him, and so entirely does the whole of his entire present 
production depend upon the testimony of his child, that in it he 
has mentioned "my son," "my son Lucian," "Lucian, my son," 
and the like expressions no less than fifteen different times. Let 
it be remembered here, that I have shown the affidavit of "my 
darling son Lucian" to be false by the evidence apparent on 
its own face; and I now ask if that affidavit be taken away what 
foundation will the fabric have left to stand upon ? 

General Adams's publications and out-door maneuvring taken in 
connection with the editorial articles of the " Republican," are not 
more foolish and contradictory than they are ludicrous and amus- 
ing. One week the " Republican " notifies the public that Gen, 
Adams is preparing an instrument that will tear, rend, split, rive, 
blow up, confound, overwhelm, annihilate, extinguish, exterminate, 
burst asunder, and grind to powder all its slanderers, and particu- 
larly Talbott and Lincoln — all of which is to be done in due time. 


Then for two or three weeks all is calm—not a word ^aid. Again 
the "[Republican" comes forth with a mere passing- remark that 
"Public opinion has decided in favor of Gen. Adams," and inti- 
mates that he will give himself no more trouble about the matter. 
In the meantime Adams himself is prowling about, and as Burns 
says of the Devil, " For prey, a' holes and corners tryin'," and 
in one instance, goes so far as to take an old acquaintance of mine 
several steps from a crowd and apparently weighed down with 
the importance of his business, gravely and solemnly asks him if 
" he ever heard Lincoln say he was a deist" Anon the " Repub- 
lican" comes again, "We invite the attention of the public to 
General Adams's communication," &c, "The victory is a great 
one," " The triumph is overwhelming." (I really believe the edi- 
tor of the Illinois " Republican " is fool enough to think General 
Adams is an honest man.) Then Gen. Adams leads off—" Authors 
most egregiously mistaken/' &c, " most wo fully shall their pre- 
sumption be punished/' &c. (Lord, have mercy on us.) " The hour 
is yet to come, yea nigh at hand— (how long first do you reckon?) 
— when the ' Journal ' and its junto shall say, I have appeared too 
early:'— ■" Then infamy shall be laid bare to the public gaze." Sud- 
denly the Gen. appears to relent at the severity with which he is 
treating us and he exclaims, " The condemnation of my enemies 
tsthe inevitable result of my own defense." For your health's 
sake dear Gen., do not permit your tenderness of heart to afflict 
you so much on our account. For some reason (perhaps because we 
are killed so quickly) we shall never be sensible of our suffering. 

Farewell, General. I will see you again at Court, if not before— 
when and where we will settle the question whether you or the 
widow shall have the land. A. Lincoln 

October 18, 1837. 


In the House of Representatives, upon the resolution offered by 
Mr. Linder, to institute an enquiry into the management of 
the affairs of the State Bank. 

Mr. Chairman : Lest I should fall into the too common error, of 
being mistaken in regard to which side I design to be upon, I shall 
make it my first care to remove all doubt on that point, by declar- 
ing that I am opposed to the resolution under consideration in 
toto. Before I proceed to the body of the subject, I will further 
remark, that it is not without a considerable degree of appre- 
hension, that I venture to cross the track of the gentleman from 
Coles (Mr. Linder). Indeed, I do not believe I could muster a 
sufficiency of courage to come in contact with that gentleman, were 
it not for the fact, that he, some days since, most graciously con- 
descended to assure us that he would never be found wasting am- 


munition on small game. On the same fortunate occasion, he 
further gave us to understand, that he regarded himself as be- 
ing decidedly the superior of our common friend from Kandolph 
(Mr. Shields) ; and feeling, as I really do, that I, to say the most 
of myself, am nothing more than the peer of our friend from Ran- 
dolph, I shall regard the gentleman from Coles as decidedly my 
superior also, and consequently, in the course of what I shall 
have to say, whenever I shall have occasion to allude to that gen- 
tleman, I shall endeavor to adopt that kind of court language 
which I understand to be due to decided superiority. In one 
faculty, at least, there can be no dispute of the gentleman's su- 
periority over me, and most other men ; and that is, the faculty of 
entangling a subject, so that neither himself, or any other man, 
can find head or tail to it. Here he has introduced a resolution, 
embracing ninety-nine printed lines across common writing paper, 
and yet more than one-half of his opening speech has been made 
upon subjects about which there is not one word said in his reso- 

Though his resolution embraces nothing in regard to the con- 
stitutionality of the Bank, much of what he has said has been 
with a view to make the impression that it was unconstitutional 
in its inception. Now, although I am satisfied that an ample field 
may be found within the pale of the resolution, at least for small 
game, yet as the gentleman has travelled out of it, I feel that I 
may, with all due humility, venture to follow him. The gentle- 
man has discovered that some gentleman at Washington city has 
been upon the very eve of deciding our Bank unconstitutional, 
and that he would probably have completed his very authentic 
decision, had not some one of the Bank officers placed his hand 
upon his mouth, and begged him to withhold it. The fact that 
the individuals composing our Supreme Court, have, in an official 
capacity, decided in favor of the constitutionality of the Bank, 
would, in my mind, seem a sufficient answer to this. It is a fact 
known to all, that the members of the Supreme Court, together 
with the Governor, form a Council of Revision, and that this 
Council approved this Bank Charter. I ask, then, if the extra- 
judicial decision — not quite, but almost made, by the gentleman 
at Washington, before whom, by the way, the question of the 
constitutionality of our Bank never has, nor never can come — 
is to be taken as paramount to a decision officially made by that 
tribunal, by which and which alone, the constitutionality of the 
Bank can never be settled? But aside from this view of the sub- 
ject, I would ask, if the committee which this resolution proposes 
to appoint, are to examine into the constitutionality of the Bank? 
Are they to be clothed with power to send for persons and papers, 
for this object? And after they have found the Bank to be 
unconstitutional, and decided it so, how are they to enforce their 
decision? What will their decision amount to? They cannot 
compel the Bank to ceafl«» operations, or to change the course of it* 


operations. What good, then, can their labors result in? Cer- 
tainly none. 

The gentleman asks, if we, without an examination, shall, 
by giving the State deposits to the Bank, and by taking the stock 
reserved for the State, legalize its former misconduct? Now 1 
do not pretend to possess sufficient legal knowledge to decide, 
whether a legislative enactment, proposing to, and accepting from, 
the Bank, certain terms, which would have the effect to legalize 
or wipe out its former errors, or not; but I can assure the gen- 
tleman, if such should be the effect, he has already got behind 
the settlement of accounts; for it is well known to all, that the 
Legislature, at its last session, passed a supplemental Bank char- 
ter, which the Bank has since accepted, and which, according to his 
doctrine, has legalized all the alleged violations of its original 
charter in the distribution of its stock. 

I now proceed to the resolution. By examination it will be found 
that the first thirty-three lines, being precisely one-third of the 
whole, relate exclusively to the distribution of the stock by the 
commissioners appointed by the State. Now, Sir, it is clear that 
no question can arise on this portion of the resolution, except 
a question between capitalists in regard to the ownership of stock. 
Some gentlemen have their stock in their hands, while others, 
who have more money, than they know what to do with, want it; 
and this, and this alone, is the question, to settle which we are 
called on to squander thousands of the people's money. What 
interest, let me ask, have the people in the settlement of this ques- 
tion? What difference is it to them whether the stock is owned 
by Judge Smith or Sam Wiggins? If any gentleman be entitled 
to stock in the Bank, which he is kept out of possession of by 
others, let him assert his right in the Supreme Court, and let him 
or his antagonist, whichever may be found in the wrong, pay the 
costs of suit. It is an oid maxim and a very sound one, that he 
that dances should always pay the fiddler Now, Sir, in the pres- 
ent case, if any gentlemen, whose money is a burden to them, 
choose to lead off a dance, I am decidedly opposed to the people's 
money being used to pay the fiddler. No one can doubt that the 
examination proposed by this resolution, must cost the State 
some ten or twelve thousand dollars ; and all this to settle a question 
in which the people have no interest, and about which they care 
nothing. These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in con- 
cert, to fleece the people, and now, that they have got into a quar- 
rel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's 
money to settle the quarrel. 

I leave this part of the resolution and proceed to the remainder. 
It will be found that no charge in the remaining part of the reso- 
lution, if true, amounts to the violation of the Bank charter, 
except one, which I will notice in due time. It might seem quite 
sufficient to say no more upon any of these charges or insinua* 
tions, than enough to show they ar«» *&ot violations of the charter; 


yet, as they are ingeniously framed and handled, with a view to 
deceive and mislead, I will notice in their order, all the most 
prominent of them. The first of these is in relation to a con- 
nection between our Bank and several Banking institutions in other 
States. Admitting this connection to exist, I should like to see 
the gentleman from Coles, or any other gentleman, undertake to 
show that there is any harm in it. What can there be in such a 
connection, that the people of Illinois are willing to pay their 
money to get a peep into? By a reference to the tenth section of 
the Bank charter, any gentleman can see that the framers of the 
act contemplated the holding of stock in the institutions of other 
corporations. Why, then, is it, when neither law nor justice for- 
bids it, that we are asked to spend out time and money, in inquir- 
ing into its truth ? 

The next charge, in the order of time, is, that some officer, di- 
rector, clerk or servant of the Bank, has been required to take 
an oath of secrecy in relation to the affairs of said Bank. Now, 
I do not know whether this be true or false — neither do I believe 
any honest man cares. I know that the seventh section of the 
charter expressly guarantees to the Bank the right of making, 
under certain restrictions, such by-laws as it may think fit; and I 
further know that the requiring an oath of secrecy would not 
transcend those restrictions. What, then, if the Bank has chosen 
to exercise this right? Who can it injure? Does not every mer- 
chant have his secret mark? and who is ever silly enough to com- 
plain of it? I presume if the Bank does require any such oath of 
secrecy, it is done through a motive of delicacy to those indi- 
viduals who deal with it. Why, sir, not many days since, one 
gentleman upon this floor, who, by the way I have no doubt is now 
ready to join this hue and cry against the Bank, indulged in a 
phillippic against one of the Bank officials, because, as he said, 
he had divulged a secret. 

Immediately following this last charge, there are several in- 
sinuations in the resolution, which are too silly to require any 
sort of notice, were it not for the fact, that they conclude by 
saying, " to the great injury of the people at large/' In answer 
to this I would say that it is strange enough, that the people 
are suffering these " great injuries," and yet are not sensible of 
it! Singular indeed that the people should be writhing under op- 
pression and injury, and yet not one among them to be found, to 
raise the voice of complaint. If the Bank be inflicting injury 
upon the people, why is it, that not a single petition is presented to 
this body on the subject? If the Bank really be a grievance, 
why is it, that no one of the real people is found to ask redress 
of it? The truth is, no such oppression exists. If it did, our 
people would groan with memorials and petitions, and we would 
not be permitted to rest day or night, till we had put it down The 
people know their rights, and they are never slow to assert and 
maintain them, when they are invaded. Let *hem call for al) 


investigation, and I shall ever stand ready to respond to the call 
But they have made no such call. I make the assertion boldly, and 
without fear of contradiction, that no man, who does not hold an 
office, or does not aspire to one, has ever found any fault of the 
Bank. It has doubled the prices of the products of their farms, 
and filled their pockets with a sound circulating medium, and they 
are all well pleased with its operations. No, Sir, it is the politician 
who is the first to sound the alarm, (which, by the way, is a false 
one.) It is he, who, by these unholy means, is endeavoring to 
blow up a storm that he may ride upon and direct. It is he, 
and he alone, that here proposes to spend thousands of the people's 
public treasure, for no other advantage to them, than to make 
valueless in their pockets the reward of their industry. Mr. 
Chairman, this work is exclusively the work of politicians; a set 
of men who have interests aside from the interests of the people, 
and who, to say the most of them, are, taken as a mass, at least 
one long step removed from honest men. I say this with the 
greater freedom, because, being a politician myself, none can 
regard it as personal. 

Again, it is charged, or rather insinuated, that officers of the 
Bank have loaned money at usurious rates of interest. Suppose 
this to be true, are we to send a committee of this House to 
enquire into it? Suppose the committee should find it true, can 
they redress the injured individuals? Assuredly not. If any 
individual had been injured in this way, is there not an ample 
remedy to be found in the laws of the land? Does the gentleman 
from Coles know, that there is a statute standing in full force, 
making it highly penal, for an individual to loan money at a higher 
rate of interest than twelve per cent? If he does not he is too 
ignorant to be placed at the head of the committee which his 
resolution proposes; and if he does, his neglect to mention it, 
shows him to be too uncandid to merit the respect or confidence of 
any one. 

But besides all this, if the Bank were struck from existence, 
could not the owners of the capital still loan it usuriously, as well 
as now? Whatever the Bank, or its officers, may have done, I 
know that usurious transactions were much more frequent and 
enormous, before the commencement of its operations, than they 
have ever been since. 

The next insinuation is, that the Bank has refused specie pay- 
ments. This, if true, is a violation of the charter. But there is 
not the least probability of its truth; because, if such had been 
the fact, the individual to whom payment was refused, would 
have had an interest in making it public, by suing for the dam- 
ages to which the charter entitles him. Yet no such thing has 
been done; and the strong presumption is, that the insinuation is 
false and groundless. 

From this to the end of the resolution, there is nothing that 
merits attention — I therefore drop the particular examination of it. 


By a general view of the resolution, it will be seen that a prin« 
cipal object of the committee is, to examine into, and ferret out, 
a mass of corruption, supposed to have been committed by the 
commissioners who apportioned the stock of the Bank. I be- 
lieve it is universally understood and acknowledged, that all men 
will ever act correctly, unless they have a motive to do otherwise. 
If this be true, we can only suppose that the commissioners acted 
corruptly, by also supposing that they were bribed to do so. Tak- 
ing this view of the subject, I would ask if the Bank is likely to 
find it more difficult to bribe the committee of seven, which we 
are about to appoint, than it may have found it to bribe the com- 
missioners ? 

(Here Mr. Linder called to order. The Chair decided that Mr. 
Lincoln was not out of order. Mr. Linder appealed to the House; 
— but before the question was put, withdrew his appeal, saying, he 
preferred to let the gentleman go on; he thought he would break 
his own neck. Mr. Lincoln proceeded)— 

Another gracious condescension, I acknowledge it with grati- 
tude. I know I was not out of order; and I know every sensible 
man in the House knows it. I was not saying that the gentleman 
from Coles could not (?) be bribed, nor, on the other hand, will I 
say he could not. In that particular I leave him where I found 
him. I was only endeavoring to show that there was at least as 
great a probability of any seven members that could be selected 
from this House, being bribed to act corruptly, as there was, that 
the twenty-four commissioners had been so bribed. By a ref- 
erence to the ninth section of the Bank charter, it will be seen 
that those commissioners were John Tilson, Robert K. McLaugh- 
lin, Daniel Wann, A. G. S. Wight, John C. Riley, W. H. David- 
son, Edward M. Wilson, Edward L. Pierson, Robert R. Green, 
Ezra Baker, Aquilla Wren, John Taylor, Samuel C. Christy, Ed- 
mund Roberts, Benjamin Godfrey, Thomas Mather, A. M. Jenkins, 
W. Linn, W. S. Gilman, Charles Prentice, Richard I. Hamilton, 
A. H. Buckner, W. F. Thornton, and Edmund D. Taylor. 

These are twenty-four of the most respectable men in the State. 
Probably no twenty-four men could be selected in the State, with 
whom the people are better acquainted, or in whose honor and 
integrity, they would more readily place confidence. And I now 
repeat, that there is less probability that those men have been 
bribed and corrupted, than that any seven men, or rather any 
six men, that could be selected from the members of this House, 
might be so bribed and corrupted; even though they were headed 
and led on by " decided superiority " himself. 

In all seriousness, I ask every reasonable man, if an issue be 
joined by these twenty-four commissioners, on the one part, and 
any other seven men, on the other part, and the whole depend 
upon the honor and integrity of the contending parties, to which 
party would the greatest degree of credit be due? Again: An- 
other consideration is, that we have no right to make the exam- 


ination. What I shall say upon this head, I design exclusively 
for the law-loving and law-abiding part of the House. To those 
who claim omnipotence for the Legislature, and who in the plenti- 
tude of their assumed powers, are disposed to disregard the Con- 
stitution, law, good faith, moral right, and every thing else, 1 
have not a word to say. But to the law-abiding part I say, examine 
the Bank charter, go examine the Constitution; go examine the 
acts that the General Assembly of this State has passed, and you 
will find just as much authority given in each and every of them, 
to compel the Bank to bring its coffers to this hall, and to pour 
their contents upon this floor, as to compel it to submit to this 
examination which this resolution proposes. Why, sir, the gen- 
tleman from Coles, the mover of this resolution, very lately denied 
on this floor, that the Legislature had any right to repeal, or other- 
wise meddle with its own acts, when those acts were made in the 
nature of contracts, and had been accepted and acted on by other 
parties. Now I ask, if this resolution does not propose, for this 
House alone, to do, what he, but the other day, denied the right 
of the whole Legislature to do? He must either abandon the posi- 
tion he then took, or he must now vote against his own resolution. It 
is no difference to me, and I presume but little to any one else, 
which he does. 

I am by no means the special advocate of the Bank. I have 
long thought that it would be well for it to report its condition to 
the General Assembly, and that cases might occur, when it might 
be proper to make an examination of its affairs by a committee. 
Accordingly, during the last session, while a bill supplemental to 
the Bank charter, was pending before the House, I offered an 
amendment to the same, in these words : " The said corporation 
shall, at the next session of the General Assembly, and at each 
subsequent General Session, during the existence of its charter, 
report to the same the amount of debts due from said corpora- 
tion; the amount of debts due to the same; the amount of specie 
in its vaults, and an account of all lands then owned by the same, 
and the amount for which such lands have been taken; and more- 
over, if said corporation shall at any time neglect or refuse to 
submit its books, papers, and all and every thing necessary, for a 
full and fair examination of its affairs, to any person or persons 
appointed by the General Assembly, for the purpose of making 
such examination, the said corporation shall forfeit its charter." 

This amendment was negatived by a vote of 34 to 15. Eleven 
of the 34 who voted against it, are now members of this House; 
and though it would be out of order to call their names, I hope 
they will all recollect themselves, and not vote for this examina- 
tion to be made without authority, inasmuch as they refused to 
receive the authority when It was in their power to do so. 

I have said that cases might occur, when an examination might 
be proper; but I do not believe any such case has now occurred; 
and if it has, I should still be opposed to making an examination 


without legal authority. I am opposed to encouraging that law- 
less and mobocratic spirit, whether in relation to the Bank or any 
thing else, which is already abroad in the land; and is spreading 
with rapid and fearful impetuosity, to the ultimate overthrow of 
every institution, of even moral principle, in which persons and 
property have hitherto found security. 

But supposing we had the authority, I would ask what good 
can result from the examination? Can we declare the Bank un- 
constitutional, and compel it to desist from the abuses of its 
power, provided we find such abuses to exist? Can we repair the 
injuries which it may have done to individuals? Most certainly 
we can do none of these things. Why then shall we spend the 
public money in such employment? O, say the examiners, we 
can injure the credit of the Bank, if nothing else. — Please tell me, 
gentlemen, who will suffer most by that? You cannot injure, to 
any extent, the stockholders. They are men of wealth — of large 
capital; and consequently, beyond the power of malice. But by 
injuring the credit of the Bank, you will depreciate the value of 
its paper in the hands of the honest and unsuspecting farmer and 
mechanic, and that is all you can do. But suppose you could 
affect your whole purpose; suppose you could wipe the Bank 
from existence, which is the grand ultimatum of the project, what 
would be the consequence? Why, sir, we should spend several 
thousand dollars of the public treasure in the operation, annihi- 
late the currency of the State; render valueless in the hands of 
our people that reward of their former labors; and finally, be once 
more under the comfortable obligation of paying the Wiggins' 
loan, principal and interest. 

(The foregoing speech is found in the Sangamo "Journal" of 
January 28, 1837. It was copied by the "Journal " from the Van- 
dalia " Free Press.") 

Springfield, June 11th, 1839. 
Dear Eow: — 

Mr. Redman informs me that you wish me to write you the 
particulars of a conversation between Dr. Felix and myself rela- 
tive to you. The Dr. overtook me between Rushville and Beards- 
town. He, after learning that I had lived at Springfield^ asked 
if I was acquainted with you. I told him I was. He said you 
had lately been elected constable in Adams, but that you never 
would be again. I asked him why? He said the people there, 
had found out that you had been Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff in 
Sangamon County, and that you came off and left your securities 
to suffer. He then asked me if I did not know such to be the fact. 
1 told him I did not think you had ever been Sheriff or Deputy 
Sheriff in Sangamon; but that I thought you had been consta- 
ble. I further told him that if you had left your securities to 
suffer in that or any other case, I had never heard of it, and that 
if it had been so, I thought I would have heard of it- 


If the Dr. is telling that I told him anything against you what- 
ever, I authorize you to contradict it flatly. We have no news here 

Your friend, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 
(Original owned by C. F. Gunther, Chicago, HI.) 

Springfield, III., Feby. 16, 1842. 
G. B. Sheledy, Esqr. : 

Yours of the 10th is duly received. Judge Logan and myself 
are doing business together now, and we are willing to attend 
to your cases as you propose — As to the terms, we are willing to 
attend each case you prepare and send us for $10 (when there shall 
be no opposition) to be sent in advance, or you to know that it 
is safe — It takes $5.75 of cost to start upon, that is, $1.75 to 
clerk, and $2 to each of two publishers of papers — Judge Logan 
thinks it will take the balance of $20 to carry a case through — 
This must be advanced from time to time as the services are per- 
formed, as the officers will not act without — I do not know 
whether you can be admitted an attorney of the Federal court 
in your absence or not; nor is it material, as the business can 
be done in our names. 

Thinking it may aid you a little, I send you one of our blank 
forms of Petitions— It, you will see, is framed to be sworn to 
before the Federal court clerk, and, in your cases, will have (to) 
be so far changed, as to be sworn to before the clerk of your cir- 
cuit court; and his certificate must be accompanied with his offi- 
cial seal — The schedules too, must be attended to — Be sure 
that they contain the creditors names, their residences, the 
amounts due each, the debtors names, their residences, and the 
amounts they owe, also all property and where located. 

Also be sure that the schedules are signed by the applicants 
as well as the Petition. 

Publication will have to be made here in one paper, and in one 
nearest the residence of the applicant. Write us in each case 
where the last advertisement is to be sent, whether to you or to 
what paper. 

I believe I have now said everything that can be of any ad™ 
vantage. *■ Your friend, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Historical Dep't of Iowa, loaned by the 
Hon. Charles Aldrich, curator, Des Moines, Iowa.) 

February 22, 1842. 
To George E. Pickett. 

I never encourage deceit, and falsehood, especially if you have 
got a bad memory, is the worst enemy a fellow can have. The 
fact is truth is your truest friend, no matter what the circum- 


stances are. Notwithstanding this copy-book preamble, my boy, 
I am inclined to suggest a little prudence on your part. You seel 
I have a congenital aversion to failure, and the sudden announce' 
ment to your Uncle Andrew of the success of your " lamp-rubbing M 
might possibly prevent your passing the severe physical examina- 
tion to which you will be subjected in order to enter the Military 
Academy. You see, I should like to have a perfect soldier cred- 
ited to dear old Illinois — no broken bones, scalp wounds, etc. So 
I think perhaps it might be wise to hand this letter from me, in 
to your good uncle through his room-window after he has had a 
comfortable dinner, and watch its effect from the top of the pigeon- 

I have just told the folks here in Springfield on this 111th an- 
niversary of the birth of him whose name, mightiest in the cause 
of civil liberty, still mightiest in the cause of moral reformation, 
we mention in solemn awe, in naked, deathless splendor, that 
the one victory we can ever call complete will be that one which 
proclaims that there is not one slave or one drunkard on the face 
of God's green earth. Recruit for this victory. 

Now, boy, on your march, don't you go and forget the old maxim 
that "one drop of honey catches more flies than a half -gallon of 
gall." Load your musket with this maxim, and smoke it in your 

(Original owned by Lasaile Corbell Pickett. Extracts published 
in "'Pickett & His Men.") 

Springfield, August 15, 1842. 
Friend Walker : 

Enclosed you have an order of court allowing your assignee to 
sell your property on a credit. Nothing is said in it about allow- 
ing your creditors pay for what they may purchase without money. 
We however, think this a matter of no consequence; as it will be 
a matter of course to take their bonds and security, as of other 
purchasers, and then, in the final settlement, to set off their divi- 
dends against those bonds in whole or as far as they will go. 

Yours, &c, 

Logan & Lincoln. 

(Original owned by J. H. Franklin, Lacon, HI.) 

John Bennett. 

Springfield, March 7, 1843. 
Friend Bennett : 

Your letter of this day was handed me by Mr. Miles — It is toe 
late now to effect the object you desire — On yesterday morning 
the most of the whig members from this District got together and 


agreed to hold the convention at Tremont in Tazewell County— 
1 am sorry to hear that any of the whigs of your County, or in- 
deed of any County, should longer be against conventions. — 
On last Wednesday evening a meeting of all the whigs then 
here from all parts of the state was held, and the question of the 
propriety of conventions was brought up and fully discussed, and 
at the end of the discussion a resolution recommending the sys- 
tem of conventions to all the whigs of the state was unanimously 
adopted — Other resolutions were also passed, all of which wil? 
appear in the next Journal. The meeting also appointed a com 
mittee to draft an address to the people of the state, which ad- 
dress will also appear in the next Journal. 

In it you will find a brief argument in favor of conventions — ana 
although I wrote it myself I will say to you that it is conclusive 
upon the point and can not be reasonably answered. The right 
way for you to do is hold your meeting and appoint delegates any 
how, and if there be any who will not take part, let it be so. — 
The matter will work so well this time that even they who now 
oppose will come in next time. 

The convention is to be held at Tremont on the 5th of April and 
according to the rule we have adopted your County is to have dele- 
gates — being double the number of your representation — 

If there be any good whig who is disposed to stick out against 
conventions get him at least to read the argument in their favor 
in the address. 

Yours as ever. 

(Original owned by E. B. Oeltjen, Petersburg, 111.) 

Springfield, May 11th, 1843. 
Friend Hardin: 

Butler informs me that he received a letter from you, in which 
you expressed some doubt whether the whigs of Sangamon will 
support you cordially — You may, at once, dismiss all fears on 
that subject — We have already resolved to make a particular 
effort to give you the very largest majority possible in our coun- 
ty— From this, no whig of the county dissents — We have 
many objects for doing it. We make it a matter of honor and 
pride to do it; we do it, because we love the whig cause; we do 
it, because we like you personally; and last, we wish to convince 
you, that we do not bear that hatred to Morgan county, that 
you people have so long seemed to imagine. You will see by the 
journal of this week, that we propose, upon pain of losing a Bar- 
becue, to give you twice as great a majority in this county as you 
shall receive in your own. I got up the proposal. 

Who of the five appointed, is to write the District address? I 
did the labor of writing one address this year; and got thunder 
for my reward. Nothing new here. Yours as evei-, 

1. Lincoln. 



P. S. — I wish you would measure one of the largest of those 
swords, we took to Alton, and write me the length of it, from tip 
of the point to tip of the hilt, in feet and inches, I have a dispute 
about the length. A. L. 

(Original owned by Ellen Hardin Walworth, New York City.) 

This memorandum witnesseth that Charles Dresser and Abraham 
Lincoln of Springfield, Illinois, have contracted with each other as 
follows : 

The said Dresser is to convey to or procure to be conveyed to said 
Lincoln, by a clear title in fee simple, the entire premises (ground 
and improvements) in Springfield, on which said Dresser now re- 
sides, and give him possession of said premises, on or before the 
first day of April next — for which said Lincoln, at or before the 
same day, is to pay to said Dresser twelve hundred dollars, or what 
said Dresser shall then at his option, accept as equivalent thereto; 
and also to procure to be conveyed to said Dresser, by a clear title 
in fee simple, the entire premises (ground and building) in Spring- 
field, on the block immediately West of the Public square, the 
building on which is now occupied by H. A. Hough as a shop, being 
the same premises some time since conveyed by N. W. Edwards and 
wife to said Lincoln and Stephen T. Logan — Said Dresser takes 
upon himself to arrange with said Hough for the possession of said 
shop and premises. 

Charles Dressep 

Jan'y 16, 1844. A. Lincoln. 

(Signed duplicates.) 

(Original on file in Springfield, HI.) 

Springfield, May 21, 1844. 
Dear Hardin: 

Knowing that you have correspondents enough, I have forborne 
to trouble you heretofore; and I now only do so, to get you to 
set a matter right which has got wrong with one of our best 
friends. It is old uncle Thomas Campbell of Spring Creek — (Ber- 
lin P. O.) He has received several documents from you, and he 
says they are old newspapers and documents, having no sort of 
interest in them. He is, therefore, getting a strong impression 
that you treat him with disrespect. This, I know, is a mistaken 
impression; and you must correct it. The way, I leave to your- 
self. Kob't W. Canfield, says he would like to have a document 
or two from you. 

The Locos here are in considerable trouble about Van Buren's 
letter on Texas, and the Virginia electors. They are growing sick 
of the Tariff question; and consequently are much confounded at 
V. B.'s cutting them off from the new Texas question. Nearly 
half the leaders swear they wont stand it. Of those are Ford, T 


Campbell, Ewing, Calhoun and others. They don't exactly say 
they won't vote for V. B., but they say he will not be the candi- 
date, and that they are for Texas anyhow. As ever yours, 

A. Lincoln. 
(Original owned by Ellen Hardin Walworth, New York City.) 

To General John J. Hardin. 

Springfield, January 19, 1845. 
Dear General: 

I do not wish to join in your proposal of a new plan for the 
selection of a whig candidate for Congress, because — 

1st. I am entirely satisfied with the old system under which 
you and Baker were successively nominated and elected to Con- 
gress; and because the Whigs of the "District are well acquainted 
with the system, and so far as I know or believe, are well satisfied 
with it. If the old system be thought to be vague, as to all the 
delegates of the county voting the same way; or as to instructions 
to them as to whom they are to vote for; or as to filling vacan- 
cies, — I am willing to jo 1 ' in a provision to make these matters 

2nd. As to your proposals that a poll shall be opened in every 
precinct, and that the whole shall take place on the same day, I 
do not personally object. They seem to me to be not unfair ; and I 
forbear to join in proposing them, only because I choose to leave 
the decision in each county to the Whigs of the county, to be 
made as their own judgment and convenience may dictate. 

3rd. As to your proposed stipulation that all the candidates 
shall remain in their own counties, and restrain their friends in 
the same — it seems to me that on reflection you will see, the fact 
of your having been in Congress has, in various ways, so spread 
your name in the District, as to give you a decided advantage in 
such a stipulation. I appreciate your desire to keep down ex- 
citement ; and I promise you ' keep cool ' under all circumstances. 

4th. I have already said I am satisfied with the old system under 
which such good men have triumphed, and that I desire no de- 
parture from its principles. But if there must be a departure 
from it, I shall insist upon a more accurate and just apportionment 
of delegates, or representative votes, to the constituent body, than 
exists by the old; and which you propose to retain in your new 
plan. If we take the entire population of the Counties as shown 
by the late census, we shall see by the old plan, and by your pro- 
posed new plan, — 

Morgan county, with a population of 16541, has but 8 votes 

While Sangamon with 18697 — 2156 greater, has but 8 votes 

So Scott with 6553 has 4 votes 

While Tazewell with 7615 has 1062 greater, has but 4 votes 

So Mason with 3135 has 1 vote 

While Logan with 3907, 772 greater, has but 1 vote 


And so on in a less degree the matter runs through all the coun« 
ties, being not only wrong in principle, but the advantage of it 
being all manifestly in your favor with one slight exception, in 
the comparison of two counties not here mentioned. 

Again, if we take the whig votes of the counties as shown by 
the late Presidential election as a basis, the thing is still worse. 
Take a comparison of the same six counties — 

Morgan with her 1443 whig votes has 8 votes 

Sangamon with her 1837, 394 greater, only has 8 votes 

Mason with her 255 has 1 vote 

Logan with her 310, 55 greater, has only 1 vote 

Scott with her 670 has 4 votes 

Tazewell with her 1011, 341 greater, has only 4 votes 

It seems to me most obvious that the old system needs adjust- 
ment in nothing so much as in this : and still, by your proposal, no 
notice is taken of it. I have always been in the habit of acceding 
to almost any proposal that a friend would make and I am truly 
sorry that I cannot in this. I perhaps ought to mention that 
some friends at different places are endeavoring to secure the 
honor of the sitting of the convention at their towns respectively, 
and I fear that they would not feel much complimented if we shall 
make a bargain that it should sit no where. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 
(Copied from the Sangamo "Journal" for Feb. 26, 1846.) 

Springfield, March 1, 1845. 
Friend Williams: 

The supreme court adjourned this morning for the term. Your 
cases of Bernhardt vs. Schuyler, Bunce vs. Schuyler, Dickhut vs. 
Dunell, and Sullivan vs. Andrews are continued. Hinman vs. 
Pope I wrote you concerning some time ago. McNutt et al. vs. 
Bean and Thompson is reversed and remanded. 

Fitzpatrick vs. Brady et al. is reversed and remanded with 
leave to complainant to amend his bill so as to show the real 
consideration given for the land. 

Bunce against Graves, the court confirmed, wherefore, in ac- 
cordance with your directions, I moved to have the case remanded 
to enable you to take a new trial in the court below. The court 
allowed the motion ; of which I am glad, and I guess you are. 

This, I believe, is all as to court business. The canal men have 
got their measure through the legislature pretty much or quite 
in the shape they desired. Nothing else now. Yours, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Mrs. A. J. Morton, Washington, D. G.) 


Williamson Durley. 

Springfield, October 3, 1845. 

When I saw you at home, it was agreed that I should write to 
you and your brother Madison. Until I then saw you I was not 
aware of your being what is generally called an Abolitionist, or, aa 
you call yourself, a Liberty man, though I well knew there were 
many such in your country. 

I was glad to hear that you intended to attempt to bring about, 
at the next election in Putnam, a union of the Whigs proper and 
such of the Liberty men as are Whigs in principle on all ques- 
tions save only that of slavery. So far as I can perceive, by such 
union neither party need yield anything on the point in difference 
between them. If the Whig abolitionists of New York had voted 
with us last fall, Mr. Clay would now be President, Whig princi- 
ples in the ascendant, and Texas not annexed; whereas, by the di- 
vision, ail that either had at stake in the contest was lost. And, 
indeed, it was extremely probable, beforehand, that such would 
be the result. As I always understood, the Liberty men depre- 
cated the annexation of Texas extremely; and this being so, why 
they should refuse to cast their votes (so) as to prevent it, even 
to me seemed wonderful. What was their process of reasoning, 
I can only judge from what a single one of them told me. It was 
this: 'We are not to do evil that good may come.' This gen- 
eral proposition is doubtless correct; but did it apply? If by 
your votes you could have prevented the extension, etc., of slav- 
ery would it not have been good, and not evil, so to have used 
your votes, even though it involved the casting of them for a 
slave-holder. By the fruit the tree is to be known. An evil tree 
cannot bring forth good fruit. If the fruit of electing Mr. Clay 
would have been to prevent the extension of slavery, could the act 
of electing have been evil ? 

But I will not argue further. I perhaps ought to say that 
individually I never was much interested in the Texas question. 
I never could see much good to come of annexation, inasmuch as 
they were already a free republican people on our own model. On 
the other hand. I never could very clearly see how the annexa- 
tion would augment the evil of slavery. It always seemed to me 
that slaves would be taken there in about equal numbers, with or 
without annexation. And if more were taken because of an- 
nexation, still there would be just so many the fewer left where 
they were taken from. It is possibly true, to some extent, that, 
with annexation, some slaves may be sent to Texas and continued 
in slavery that otherwise might have been liberated. To whatever 
extent this may be true, I think annexation an evil. I hold it to 
be a paramount duty of us in the free States, due to the Union of 
the States, and perhaps to liberty itself (paradox though it may 
seem), to let the slavery of the other States alone; while, on 
the other hand, I hold it to be equally clear that we should never 
knowingly lend ourselves, directly or indirectly, to jprevent that 


slavery from dying a natural death — to find new places for it to 
live in, when it can no longer exist in the old. Of course I am 
not now considering what would be our duty in cases of insur- 
rection among the slaves. To recur to the Texas question, I un- 
derstand the Liberty men to have viewed annexation as a much 
greater evil than ever I did; and I would like to convince you, 
if I could, that they could have prevented it, if they had chosen. 

I intend this letter for you and Madison together; and if you 
and he or either shall think fit to drop me a line, I shall be pleased. 

Yours with respect, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by C. W. Durley, Princeton, Illinois.) 

Dr. Kobert Boal, Lacon, HI. 

Springfield, Jany. 7, 1846. 
Dear Doctor: 

Since I saw you last fall, I have often thought of writing you, 
as it was then understood I would, but, on reflection, I have al- 
ways found that I had nothing new to tell you. All has hap- 
pened as I then told you I expected it would — Baker's declining, 
Hardin's taking the track, and so on. 

If Hardin and I stood precisely equal, if neither of us had been 
to Congress, or, if we both had — it would not only accord with 
what I have always done, for the sake of peace, to give way to 
him; and I expect I should do it. That I can voluntarily postpone 
my pretentions, when they are no more than equal to those to 
which they are postponed, you have yourself seen. But to yield 
to Hardin under present circumstances, seems to me as nothing 
else than yielding to one who would gladly sacrifice me altogether. 
This, I would rather not submit to. That Hardin is talented, 
energetic, usually generous and magnanimous, I have, before 
this, affirmed to you, and do not now deny. You know that my 
only argument is that "turn about is fair play." This he prac- 
tically at least, denies. 

If it would not be taxing you too much, I wish you would write 
me, telling the aspect of things in your country, or rather your 
district; and also, send the names of some of your Whig neigh- 
bours, to whom I might, with propriety, write. Unless I can get 
some one to do this, Hardin, with his old franking list, will have 
the advantage of me. My reliance for a fair shake (and I want 
nothing more) in your county is chiefly on you, because of your 
position and standing, and because I am acquainted with so few 
others. Let me hear from you soon. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
(Original owned by Dr. Robert Boal, Lacon, Illinois.) 


John Bennett. 

Springfield, Jany 15, 1846. 
Friend John: 

Nathan Dresser is here, and speaks as though the contest be- 
tween Hardin and me is to be doubtful in Menard County — I 
know he is candid and this alarms me some — I asked him to 
tell me the names of the men that were going strong for Hardin; 
he said Morris was about as strong as any — Now tell me, is Morris 
going it openly? You remember you wrote me, that he would bf 
neutral. Nathan also said that some man who he could not re- 
member had said lately that Menard County was going to de- 
cide the contest and that that made the contest very doubtful. 
Do yon know who that was? Don't fail to write me instantly on 
receiving telling me all— particularly the names of those who are 
going strong against me. Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by E. R. Oeltjen, Petersburg, 111.) 

Springfield, January 21, 1846. 
N. J. Rockwell : 

Dear Sir: You perhaps know that General Hardin and I have 
a contest for the Whig nomination for Congress for this district 
He has had a turn and my argument is " Turn about is fair play. 
1 shall be pleased if this strikes you as a sufficient argument. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Jas. Berdan, 

Jacksonville, HI. 

Springfield, April 26, 1846. 
Jas. Berdan, Esqr.: 

Dear Sir: I thank you for the promptness with which you 
answered my letter from Bloomington. I also thank you for the 
frankness with which you comment upon a certain part of my 
letter; because that comment affords me an opportunity of try- 
ing to express myself better than I did before, seeing, as I do, that 
in that part of my letter, you have not understood me as I intended 
to be understood. In speaking of the " dissatisfaction " of men who 
yet mean to do no wrong, &c, I meant no special application 
of what I said to the Whigs of Morgan, or of Morgan & Scott. 
I only had in my mind the fact, that previous to General Hardin's 
withdrawal some of his friends and some of mine had become a 
little warm; and I felt, and meant to say, that for them now to 
meet face to face and converse together was the best way to 
efface any remnant of unpleasant feeling, if any such existed. 
I did not suppose that General Hardin's friends were in any 


-reater need of having their feelings corrected than mine were. 
Since I saw you at Jacksonville, I have had no more suspicion oi 
the Whigs oi Morgan than oi those of any other part of the Dis- 
trict. I write this only to try to remove any impression that 1 
distrust you and the other Whigs of your country. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Mrs. Mary Berdan Tiffany, Springfield, 111.) 

James Berdan, Jacksonville, 111. 

Springfield, May 7th, 1846. 

J as. Berdan, Esqr,: 

Dear Sir: It is a matter of high moral obligation, if not of 
necessity, for me to attend the Coles and Edwards courts. 1 have 
some cases in both of them, in which the parties have my promise, 
and are depending upon me. The court commences in Coles on 
the second Monday, and in Edgar on the third. Your court m 
Morgan commences on the fourth Monday; and it is my purpose to 
be with you then, and make a speech I mention the Coles and 
Edgar courts in order that if I should not reach Jacksonville at 
the time named you may understand the reason why. I dc .not, 
however, think there is much danger of my being detoi^; " 
I shall go with a purpose not to be, and consequently shall engage 
in no new cases that might delay me. Yours t ^ INC0LN# 

(Original owned by Mrs. Mary Berdan Tiffany, Springfield, 111.) 

MASS., ON SEPT. 12, 1848. 

(From the Boston " Advertiser.") 

Mr Kellogg then introduced to the meeting the Hon. Abram 
Linco'ln, whig member of Congress from Illinois, a representative 

° f Mr! Lincoln has a very tall and thin figure, with an intellectual 
face, showing a searching mind, and a cool judgment. He spoke 
in a clear and cool, and very eloquent manner for an hour and 
a half, carrying the audience with him in his able arguments and 
brilliant illustrations-only interrupted by warm and frequent 
applause. He began by expressing a real deling of modesty in 
addressing an audience "this side of the mountains, a part of 
the country where, in the opinion of the people of his ^ section 
everybody was supposed to be instructed and wise. But he had 
devoted his attention to the question of the coming presidential 


election, and was not unwilling to exchange with all whom he 
might the ideas to which he had arrived. He then began to show 
the fallacy of some of the arguments against Gen. Taylor, mak- 
ing his chief theme the fashionable statement of all those who 
oppose him, (" the old Locofocos as well as the new ") that he 
has no principles, and that the Whig party have abandoned their 
principles by adopting him as their candidate. He maintained 
that Gen. Taylor occupied a high and unexceptionable Whig 
ground, and took for his first instance and proof of this state- 
ment in the Allison letter — with regard to the Bank, Tariff, Rivers 
and Harbors, etc. — that the will of the people should produce its 
own results, without Executive influence. The principle that the 
people should do what — under the constitution — they please, is a 
Whig principle. All that Gen. Taylor is not only to consent, but 
to appeal to the people to judge and act for themselves. And this 
was no new doctrine for Whigs. It was the "platform" on 
which they had fought all their battles, the resistance of Execu- 
tive influence, and the principle of enabling the people to frame 
the government according to their will. Gen. Taylor consents to 
be the candidate, and to assist the people to do what they think 
to be their duty, and think to be best in their natural affairs, but 
because he dont want to tell what we ought to do, he is accused 
of having no principles. The Whigs here maintained for years 
that neither the influence, the duress, or the prohibition of the 
Executive should control the legitimately expressed will of the 
people; and now that on that very ground, Gen. Taylor says that 
he should use the power given him by the people to do, to the 
best of his judgment, the will of the people, he is accused of want 
of principle, and of inconsistency in position. 

Mr. Lincoln proceeded to examine the absurdity of an attempt 
to make a platform or creed for a national party, to all parts of 
which all must consent and agree, when it was clearly the in- 
tention and the true philosophy of our government, that in Con- 
gress all opinions and principles should be represented, and that 
when the wisdom of all had been compared and united, the will 
of the majority should be carried out. On this ground he con- 
ceived (and the audience seemed to go with him) that Gen. 
Taylor held correct, sound republican principles. 

Mr. Lincoln then passed to the subject of slavery in the states, 
saying that the people of Illinois agreed entirely with the people 
of Massachusetts on this subject, except perhaps that they did 
not keep so constantly thinking about it. All agreed that slav- 
ery was an evil, but that we were not responsible for it and can- 
not affect it in states of this Union where we do not live. But, 
the question of the extension of slavery to new territories of tbis 
country, is a part of our responsibility and care, and is under 
our control. In opposition to this Mr. L. believed that the self- 
named "Free Soil" party, was far behind the Whigs. Both 
parties opposed the extension. As he understood it the new party 


had no principle except this opposition. If their platform held 
any other, it was in such a general way that it was like the pair 
of p-antaioons the Yankee pedlar offered for sale " large enough 
.for any man, small enough for any boy." They therefore had 
taken a position calculated to break down their single important 
declared object. They were working for the election of either 
Gen. Cass or Gen. Taylor. The speaker then went on to show, 
clearly and eloquently, the danger of extension of slavery, likely 
to result from the election of General Cass. To unite with those 
who annexed the new territory to prevent the extension of slav- 
ery in that territory seemed to him to be in the highest degree 
absurd and ridiculous. Suppose these gentlemen succeed in 
electing Mr. Van Buren, they had no specific means to prevent 
the extension of slavery to New Mexico and California, and Gen 
Taylor, he confidently believed, would not encourage it, and would 
not prohibit its restriction. But if Gen. Cass was elected, he 
felt certain that the plans of farther extension of territory would 
be encouraged, and those of the extension of slavery would meet 
no check. The " Free Soil " men in claiming that name indi- 
rectly attempts a deception, by implying that Whigs were not 
Free Soil men. In declaring that they would " do their duty and 
leave the consequences to God," merely gave an excuse for taking 
a course they were not able to maintain by a fair and full argu- 
ment. To make this declaration did not show what their duty 
was. If it did we should have no use for judgment, we might as 
well be made without intellect, and when divine or human law 
does not clearly point out what is our duty, we have no means of 
finding out what it is by using our most intelligent judgment of 
the consequences. If there were divine law, or human law for 
voting for Martin Van Buren, or if a fair examination of the 
consequences and first reasoning would show that voting for him 
would bring about the ends they pretended to wish — then he 
would give up the argument. But since there was no fixed law on 
the subject, and since the whole probable result of their action 
would be an assistance in electing Gen. Cass, he must say that 
they were behind the Whigs in their advocacy of the freedom 
of the soil. 

Mr. Lincoln proceeded to rally the Buffalo Convention for for- 
bearing to say anything — after all the previous declarations of 
those members who were formerly Whigs — on the subject of the 
Mexican war, because the Van Burens had been known to have 
supported it. He declared that of all the parties asking the confi- 
dence of the country, this new one had less of principle than any 

He wondered whether it was still the opinion of these Free Soil 
gentlemen as declared in the " whereas " at Buffalo, that the Whig 
and Democratic parties were both entirely dissolved and absorbed 
into their own body. Had the Vermont election given them any 
light? They had calculated on making as great an impression 
in that State as in any part of the Union, and there their attempts 



had been wholly ineffectual. Their failure there was a greater suc- 
cess than they would find in any other part of the Union. 

Mr. Lincoln went on to say that he honestly believed that all 
those who wished to keep up the character of the Union; who did 
not believe in enlarging our field, but in keeping our fences where 
they are and cultivating our present possessions, making it a 
garden, improving the morals and education of the people; de- 
voting the administrations to this purpose; all real Whigs, friends 
of good honest government; — the race was ours. He had oppor- 
tunities of hearing from almost every part of the Union from 
reliable sources and had not heard of a country in which we had 
not received accessions from other parties. If the true Whigs 
come forward and join these new friends, they need not have a 
doubt. We had a candidate whose personal character and prin- 
ciples he had already described, whom he could not eulogize if he 
would. Gen. Taylor had been constantly, perseveringly, quietly 
standing up, doing his duty, and asking no praise or reward for it. 
He was and must be just the m°.n to whom the interests, princi- 
ples and prosperity of the country might be safely intrusted. He 
had never failed in anything he had undertaken, although many 
of his duties had been considered almost impossible. 

Mr. Lincoln then went into a terse though rapid review of the 
origin of the Mexican war and the connection of the administra- 
tion and General Taylor with it, from which he deduced a strong 
appeal to the Whigs present to do their duty in the support of 
General Taylor, and closed with the warmest aspirations for and 
confidence in a deserved success. 

At the close of this truly masterly and convincing speech, the 
audience gave three enthusiastic cheers for Illinois, and three 
more for the eloquent Whig member from that State. 
J. Gillespie. 

Springfield, III., May 19, 1849. 
Dear Gillespie: 

Butterfield will be Commissioner of the Gen'l Land Office, un- 
less prevented by strong and speedy efforts. Ewing is for him, 
and he is only not appointed yet because Old Zach. hangs fire. 
I have reliable information of this. Now, if you agree with me 
that his appointment would dissatisfy rather than gratify the 
Whigs of this State, that it would slacken their energies in future 
contests, that his appointment in '41 is an old sore with them 
which they will not patiently have reopened, — in a word that 
his appointment now would be a fatal blunder to the administra- 
tion and our political men, here in Illinois, write Mr. Crittenden to 
that effect. He can control the matter. Were you to write Ewing 
I fear the President would never hear of your letter. This may 
be mere suspicion. You might directly to Old Zach. You will 
be the best judge of the propriety of that. Not a moment's time 
is to be lost. 


Let this confidential except with Mr. Edwards and a few others 
whom you know I would trust just as I do you. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Mrs. Josephine G. Prickett, Edwardsville, 

Secretary of Interior, Washington, D. C. 

Springfield, III., June 3, 1849. 
Hon. Secretary of Interior, 

Dear Sir: Vandalia, the Receiver's office at which place is the 
subject of the within, is not in my district; and I have been much 
perplexed to express any preference between Dr. btapp and Mr. 
Remann. If any one man is better qualified for such an omce 
than all others, Dr. Stapp is that man; still, I believe a large 
majority of the Whigs of the District prefer Mr. Remann, who 
also is a good man. Perhaps the papers on file will enable you 
to judge better than I can. The writers of the withm are good 
men, residing within the Land District. 

Your obt. servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by C. F. Gunther, Chicago, HI.) 

J. Gillespie. Springfield, July 13, 1849. 

Dear Gillespie: 

Mr. Edwards is unquestionably offended with me in connec- 
tion with the matter of the General Land Office. He wrote a 
letter against me which was filed at the Department 

The better part of one's life consists of his friendships ; and, of 
them, mine with Mr. Edwards was one of the most cherished 
I have not been false to it. At a word I could have had the office 
anv time before the Department was committed to Mr Butter- 
field,-at least Mr. Ewing and the President say as much That 
word I forbore to speak, partly for other reasons, but chiefly for 
Mr. Edwards' sake,-losing the office that he might gam it, I 
was always for; bui to lose his friendship, by the effort for him 
would oppress me very much, were I not sustained by the utmost 
?onsciou P sness of rectitude. I ^t^te^^^.^^^ 11 ^ 
unconditionally, on the 2nd of June; and I did so then upon 
Wg informed by a Telegraphic despatch that the question was 
narrowed down to Mr. B- and myself, and that *e Oabmet had 
postponed the appointment, three weeks, for my *~.. *<* 
doubting that Mr. Edwards was wholly out of the question 1, 
nevertheless, would not then have become an applicant had I 
Supposed he would thereby be brought to suspect me of treachery 


to him. Two or three days afterwards a conversation with Levi 
Davis convinced me Mr. Edwards was dissatisfied; but I was 
then too far in to get out. His own letter, written on the 25th 
of April, after I had fully informed him of all that had passed, 
up to within a few days of that time, gave assurance I had that 
entire confidence from him, which I felt my uniform and strong 
friendship for him entitled me to. Among other things it says 
"whatever course your judgment may dictate as proper to be 
pursued, shall never be excepted to by me." I also had had a 
letter from Washington, saying Chambers, of the Eepublic, had 
brought a rumor then, that Mr. E — had declined in my favor, 
which rumor I judged came from Mr. E — himself, as I had not 
then breathed of his letter to any living creature. In saying I 
had never, before the 22nd of June, determined to be an appli- 
cant, unconditionally, I mean to admit that, before then, I had 
said substantially I would take the office rather than it should 
be lost to the State, or given to one in the State whom the Whigs 
did not want ; but I aver that in every instance in which I spoke of 
myself, I intended to keep, and now believe I did keep, Mr. E — 
above myself. Mr. Edwards' first suspicion was that I had allowed 
Baker to overreach me, as his friend, in behalf of Don Morrison. 
I knew this was a mistake; and the result has proved it. I un- 
derstand his view now is, that if I had gone to open War with 
Baker I could have ridden him down, and had the thing all my 
own way. I believe no such thing. With Baker and some strong 
man from the Military tract, & elsewhere for Morrison; and we 
and some strong man from the Wabash & elsewhere for Mr. E-*-, 
it was not possible for either to succeed. I believed this in March, 
and I know it now. The only thing which gave either any chance 
was the very thing Baker & I proposed, — an adjustment with them- 

You may wish to know how Butterfield finally beat me. I can 
not tell you particulars, now, but will, when I see you. In the 
meantime let it be understood I am not greatly dissatisfied, — I 
wish the offer had been so bestowed as to encourage our friends 
in future contests, and I regret exceedingly Mr. Edwards' feel- 
ings towards me. These two things away, I should have no re- 
grets, — at least I think I would not. 

Write me soon. 

Your friend, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Mrs. Josephine G. Prickett, Ed wards ville, 

Springfield, Sept. 14, 1849. 

Dr. William Fithian, Danville, HI. 

Dear Doctor: Your letter of the 9th was received a day or 
two ago. The notes and mortgages you enclosed me were duly 


received. 1 also got the original Blanchard mortgage from An- 
trim Campbell, with whom Blanchard had left it for you. I got 
a decree of foreclosure on the whole; but owing to there being no 
redemption on the sale to be under the Blanchard mortgage, the 
court allowed Mobley till the first of March to pay the money, 
before advertising for sale. Stuart was empowered by Mobley 
to appear for him, and I had to take such decree as he would con- 
sent to, or none at all. I cast the matter about in my mind and 
concluded that as I could not get a decree now would put the 
accrued interest at interest, and thereby more than match the 
fact of throwing the Blanchard debt back from 12 to 6 per cent., it 
was better to do it. This is the present state of the case. 

I can well enough understand and appreciate your suggestions 
about the Land Office at Danville; but in my present condition, 
I can do nothing. 

Yours, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Dr. P. H. Fithian, Springfield, 111.) 

Springfield, Jan. 11, 1851. 
0. Hoyt, Esq. 

My Dear Sir : Our case is decided against us. The decision was 
announced this morning. Very sorry, but there is no help. The 
history of the case since it came here is this — On Friday morn- 
ing last, Mr. Joy filed his papers, and entered his motion for a 
mandamus, and urged me to take up the motion as soon as pos- 
sible. I already had the points, and authorities sent me, by you 
and by Mr. Goodrich but had not studied them — I began prepar- 
ing as fast as possible. 

The evening of the same day I was again urged to take up the 
case. I refused on the ground that I was not ready, and on which 
plea I also got off over Saturday. But on Monday (the 14th) I had 
to go into it. We occupied the whole day, I using the large part. I 
made every point and used every authority sent me by yourself 
and by Mr. Goodrich; and in addition all the points I could think 
of and all the authorities I could find myself. When I closed the 
argument on my part, a large package was handed me, which 
proved to be the Plat you sent me. The court received it of me, 
but it was not different from the Plat already on the record. I 
do not think I could ever have argued the case better than I did. 
I did nothing else, but prepare to argue and argue this case, from 
Friday morning till Monday evening. Very sorry for the result; 
but I do not think it could have been prevented. 

Your friend as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by family of Mr. Ned Ames Higgins, Wash 
ington, D. C.) 



Nov. 4, 1851. 
Dear MoTHEft: 

Chapman tells me he wants you to go and live with him. If I 
were you I would try it awhile. If you get tired of it (as I think 
you will not) you can return to your own home. Chapman feels 
very kindly to you; and I have no doubt he will make your situa- 
tion very pleasant. Sincerely your son, 

A. Lincoln. 
(From Herndon's " Life of Lincoln.") 

Addressed John D. Johnston, Charleston, Coles County, Illinois. 

Springfield, November 25, 1351. 
John D. Johnston: 

Dear Brother: Your letter of the 22d is just received — Your 
proposal about selling the East forty acres of land is all that I want 
or could claim for myself; but I am not satisfied with it on 
Mother s account — I want her to have her living, and I feel that 
it is my duty, to some extent, to see that she is not wronged — She 
had a right of Dower (that is, the use of one-third for life) in 
the other two forties; but, it seems, she has already let you take 
that, hook and line — She now has the use of the whole of the East 
forty, as long as she lives ; and if it be sold, of course she is entitled 
to the interest on all the money it brings, as long as she lives ; but 
you propose to sell it for three hundred dollars, take one hundred 
away with you, and leave her two hundred at 8 per cent, making 
her the enormous sum of 16 dollars a year — Now, if you are 
satisfied with treating her in that way, I am not — It is true, 
that you are to have that forty for two hundred dollars, at Mother's 
death; but you are not to have it before. I am confident that 
land can be made to produce for Mother at least $30 a year, and I 
can not, to oblige any living person, consent that she shall be put 
on an allowance of sixteen dollars a year — 

Yours, etc., 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Mr. William H. Lambert, Philadelphia, Pa.) 

The superscription of the letter is as here printed — but the cap- 
tion omits the town and state. 

Pekjn, May 12, 1853. 
Mr. Joshua R. Stanford : 

Sir: — I hope the subject-matter of this letter will appear a suffi- 
cient apology to you for the liberty I, a total stranger, take in 
addressing you. The persons here holding two lots under a con- 
veyance made by you, as the attorney of Daniel M. Baily, now 
nearly twenty-two years ago, are in great danger of losing the lots, 
and very much, perhaps all, is to depend on the testimony you give 



as to whether you did or did not account to Baily for the proceeds 
received by you on this sale of the lots. I, therefore, as one of the 
counsel, beg of you to fully refresh your recollection by any means 
in your power before the time you may be called on to testify. If 
persons should come about you, and show a disposition to pump 
you on the subject, it may be no more than prudent to remember 
that it may be possible they design to misrepresent you and em- 
barrass the real testimony you may ultimately give. It may be six 
months or a year before you are called on to testify. 


A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Homer Stanford, of Alton, 111.) 


Springfield, Sept. 7, 1854. 
Hon. J. M. Palmer: 

Dear Sir: You know how anxious I am that this Nebraska 
measure shall be rebuked and condemned everywhere — Of course 
I hope something from your position; yet I do not expect you to 
do any thing which may be wrong in your own judgment ; nor 
would I have you do anything personally injurious to yourself — 
You are, and always have been, honestly, and sincerely, a demo- 
crat; and I know how painful it must be to an honest sincere 
man, to be urged by his party to the support of a measure, which 
in his conscience he believes to be wrong — You have had a se- 
vere struggle with yourself, and you have determined not to swal- 
low the wrong — Is it not just to yourself that you should, in a 
few public speeches, state your reasons, and thus justify yourself? 
I wish you would ; and yet I say " don't do it, if you think it will 
injure you " — You may have given your word to vote for Major 
Harris; and if so, of course you will stick to it — But allow me 
to suggest that you should avoid speaking of this; for it probably 
would induce some of your friends, in like manner, to cast their 
votes — You understand — And now let me beg your pardon 
for obtruding this letter upon you, to whom I have ever been 
opposed in politics — Had your party omitted to make Nebraska 
a test of party fidelity; you probably would have been the Demo- 
cratic candidate for congress in the district — You deserved it, 
and I believe it would have been given you — In that case I 
should have been quite happy that Nebraska was to be rebuked 
at all events — I still should have voted for the whig candidate; 
but I should have made no speeches, written no letters; and you 
would have been elected by at least a thousand majority — 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Mr. William H. Lambert. Philadelphia, Pa.) 


Clinton, De Witt Co., Nov. 10, 1854. 
Me. Charles Hoyt. 

Dear Sir: You used 10 express a good deal of partiality for 
me, and if you are still so, now is the time. Some friends here 
are really for me, for the U. S. Senate, and I should be very 
grateful if you could make a mark for me among your members. 
Please write me at all events giving me the names post-offices, 
and " political position " of members round about you. Direct to 

Let this be confidential. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Mrs. C. L. Hoyt of Aurora, 111.) 


Springfield, Dec. 1, 1854. 
J. Gillespie, Esq. : 

My Dear Sir: I have really got it into my head to try to be 
United States Senator, and, if I could have your support, my 
chances would be reasonably good. But I know, and acknowledge, 
that you have as just claims to the place as I have; and therefore 
I cannot ask you to yield to me, if you are thinking of becoming a 
candidate, yourself. If, however, you are not, then I should like 
to be remembered affectionately by you; and also to have you 
make a mark for me with the Anti-Nebraska members, down your 

If you know, and have no objection to tell, let me know whether 
Trumbull intends to make a push. If he does, I suppose the two 
men in St. Clair, and one, or both, in Madison, will be for him. 
We have the legislature, clearly enough, on joint ballot, but the 
Senate is very close, and Cullom told me to-day that the Nebraska 
men will stave off the election, if they can. Even if we get into 
joint vote, we shall have difficulty to unite our forces. Please write 
me, and let this be confidential. Your friend, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Mrs. Josephine Gillespie Prickett of Ed- 
wardsville, 111.) 

Sanford, Porter & Striker, New York City. 

Springfield, March 10th, 1855. 

Messrs. Sanford, Porter and Striker, New York. 

Gentlemen: Yours of the 5th is received, as also was that of 
15th Dec. last, inclosing bond of Clift to Pray. When I received 


the bond I was dabbling in politics, and of course neglecting busi- 
ness. Having since been beaten out I have gone to work again. 

As I do not practice in Rushville I today open a correspondence 
with Henry E. Dummer, Esq. of Beardstown, Ills., with the view 
of getting the job into his hands. He is a good man if he will un- 
dertake it. Write me whether I shall do this or return the bond 
to you. 

Very respectfully, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by the Skaneateles Library, Skaneateles, N. Y.) 

Dec. 13, 1855. 

Dear Sir: You will confer a favor on me, if you will send me 
the Congressional " Globe " during the present session. Please 
have it directed to me. 

I will pay for the same when you visit your family. 

Yours respectfully, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original formerly owned by Col. Thomas Donaldson. Loaned 
by Stan. V. Henkels of Philade 7 phia, Pa.) 

MAY 29, 1856. 

(Mr. Whitney's notes were made at the time but not written out 
until 1896. He does not claim that the speech, as here reported, is 
literally correct — only that he has followed the argument, and that 
in many cases the sentences are as Mr. Lincoln spoke them.)* 

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen: I was over at [cries of "Plat- 
form! " " Take the platform! "] — I say, that while I was at Dan- 
ville Court, some of our friends of anti -Nebraska got together in 
Springfield and elected me as one delegate to represent old Sanga- 
mon with them in this convention, and I am here certainly as a 
sympathizer in this movement and by virtue of that meeting and 
selection. But we can hardly be called delegates strictly, inas- 
much as, properly speaking, we represent nobody but ourselves. I 
think it altogether fair to say that we have no anti-Nebraska party 
in Sangamon, although there is a good deal of anti-Nebraska 
feeling there ; but I say for myself, and I think I may speak also for 
my colleagues, that we who are here fully approve of the platform 
and of all that has been done [a voice; "Yes!"]; and even if 
we are not regularly delegates, it will be right for me to answer 
your call to speak. I suppose we truly stand for the public senti f 

♦Copyright, 1896, by Sarah A. Wiittoey. 


ment of Sangamon on the great question of the repeal, although 
we do not yet represent many numbers who have taken a distinct 
position on the question. 

We are in a trying time — it ranges above mere party — and this 
movement to call a halt and turn our steps backward needs all 
the help and good counsels it can get; for unless popular opinion 
makes itself very strongly felt, and a change is made in our pres- 
ent course, blood will How on account of Nebraska, and brother's 
hand will be raised against brother! [The last sentence was ut- 
tered in such an earnest, impressive, if not, indeed, tragic, man- 
ner, as to make a cold chill creep over me. Others gave a similar 

I have listened with great interest to the earnest appeal made 
to Illinois men by the gentleman from Lawrence [James S. Emery] 
who has just addressed us so eloquently and forcibly. I was deeply 
moved by his statement of the wrongs done to free- State men out 
there. I think it just to say that all true men North should sym- 
pathize with them, and ought to be willing to do any possible and 
needful thing to right their wrongs. But we must not promise 
what we ought not, lest we be called on to perform what we can- 
not; we must be calm and moderate, and consider the whole diffi- 
culty, and determine what is possible and just. We must not be 
led by excitement and passion to do that which our sober judgments 
would not approve in our cooler moments. We have higher aims; 
we will have more serious business than to dally with temporary 

We are here to stand firmly for a principle — to stand firmly for 
a right. We know that great political and moral wrongs are done, 
and outrages committed, and we denounce those wrongs and out- 
rages, although we cannot, at present, do much more. But we 
desire to reach out beyond those personal outrages and establish 
a rule that will apply to all, and so prevent any future outrages. 

We have seen to-day that every shade of popular opinion is 
represented here, with Freedom or rather Free-Soil as the basis. 
We have come together as in some sort representatives of popular 
opinion against the extension of slavery into territory now free 
in fact as well as by law, and the pledged word of the statesmen 
of the nation who are now no more. We come — we are here as- 
sembled together — to protest as well as we can against a great 
wrong, and to take measures, as well as we now can, to make that 
wrong right; to place the nation, as far as it may be possible now, 
as it was before the repeal of the Missouri Compromise; and the 
plain way to do this is to restore the Compromise, and to demand 
and determine that Kansas shall be free! [Immense applause.] 
While we affirm, and reaffirm, if necessary, our devotion to the 
principles of the Declaration of Independence, let our practical 
work here be limited to the above. We know that there is not a 
perfect agreement of sentiment here on the public questions which 
might be rightfully considered m this convention, and that the 


indignation which we all must feel cannot be helped; out all of 
us must give up something for the good of the cause. There ia 
one desire which is uppermost in the mind, one wish common to 
us all — to which no dissent will be made; and I counsel you ear- 
nestly to bury all resentment, to sink all personal feeling, make all 
things work to a common purpose in which we are united and 
agreed about, and which all present will agree is absolutely neces- 
sary — which must be done by any rightful mode if there be such: 
Slavery must be kept out of Kansas! [Applause.] The test — 
the pinch — is right there. If we lose Kansas to freedom, an ex- 
ample will be set which will prove fatal to freedom in the end. 
We, therefore, in the language of the Bible, must " lay the axe to 
the root of the tree." Temporizing will not do longer; now is the 
time for decision — for firm, persistent, resolute action. [Ap- 

The Nebraska bill, or rather Nebraska law, is not one of whole- 
some legislation, but was and is an act of legislative usurpation, 
whose result, if not indeed intention, is to make slavery national; 
and unless headed off in some effective way, we are in a fair way to 
see this land of boasted freedom converted into a land of slavery 
in fact. [Sensation.] Just open your two eyes, and see If this be 
not so. I need do no more than state, to command universal ap- 
proval, that almost the entire North, as well as a large following 
in the border States, is radically opposed to the planting of slav- 
ery in free territory. Probably in a popular vote throughout the 
nation nine-tenths of the voters in the free States, and at least 
one-half in the border States, if they could express their senti- 
ments freely, would vote NO on such an issue ; and it is safe to say 
that two-thirds of the votes of the entire nation would be opposed 
to it. And yet, in spite of this overbalancing of sentiment in this 
free country, we are in a fair way to see Kansas present itself for 
admission as a slave State. Indeed, it is a felony, by the local 
law of Kansas, to deny that slavery exists there even now. By 
every principle of law, a negro in Kansas is free; yet the bogus 
legislature makes it an infamous crime to tell him that he is free ! * 

The party lash and the fear of ridicule will overawe justice and 
liberty; for it is a singular fact, but none the less a fact, and well 
known by the most common experience, that men will do things 
under the terror of the party lash that they would not on any ac- 
count or for any consideration do otherwise; while men who will 
march up to the mouth of a loaded cannon without shrinking, 
will run from the terrible name of " Abolitionist," even when pro- 

* Statutes of Kansas, 1855, Chapter 151, Sec. 12. If any free person, by speaking 
or by writing, assert or maintain that persons have not the right to hold slaves in 
this Territory, or shall introduce into this Territory, print, publish, write, circu- 
late . . . any book, paper, magazine, pamphlet, or circular containing any de- 
nial of the right of persons to bold slaves in this Territory, such person shall be 
deemed guilty of felony, and punished by imprisonment at hard labor for a term oi 
not less than two years. 

Sec. 13. No person who is conscientiously opposed to holding slaves, or who does 
not admit the rigrht to hold slaves in this Territory, shall sit as a juror on the trial 
of any prosecution for any violation of any Sections of this A"* 


nounced by a worthless creature whom they, with good reason, 
despise. For instance — to press this point a little — Judge Douglas 
introduced his anti-Nebraska bill in January; and we had an extra 
session of our legislature in the succeeding February, in which were 
seventy-five Democrats; and at a party caucus, fully attended, 
there were just three votes out of the whole seventy-five, for the 
measure. But in a few days orders came on from Washington, 
commanding them to approve the measure; the party lash was 
applied, and it was brought up again in caucus, and passed by a 
large majority. The masses were against it, but party necessity 
carried it; and it was passed through the lower house of Congress 
against the will of the people, for the same reason. Here is where 
the greatest danger lies — that, while we profess to be a government 
of law and reason, law will give way to violence on demand of this 
awful and crushing power. Like the great Juggernaut — I think 
that is the name — the great idol, it crushes everything that comes 
in its way, and makes a — or as I read once, in a blackletter law 
book, " a slave is a human being who is legally not a person but a 
thing" And if the safeguards to liberty are broken down, as is 
now attempted, when they have made things of all the free negroes, 
how long, think you, before they will begin to make things of poor 
white men ? [Applause.] Be not deceived. Revolutions do not go 
backward. The founder of the Democratic party declared that 
all men were created equal. His successor in the leadership has 
written the word " white " before men, making it read " all white 
men are created equal." Pray, will or may not the Know-nothings, 
if they should get in power, add the word " protestant," making 
it read " all protestant white men "f 

Meanwhile the hapless negro is the fruitful subject of reprisals 
in other quarters. John Pettit, whom Tom Benton paid his re- 
spects to, you will recollect, calls the immortal Declaration " a 
self-evident lie ; " while at the birthplace of freedom — in the shadow 
of Bunker Hill and of the " cradle of liberty," at the home of the 
Adamses and Warren and Otis — Choate, from our side of the 
house, dares to fritter away the birthday promise of liberty by pro- 
claiming the Declaration to be " a string of glittering generali- 
ties ; " and the Southern Whigs, working hand in hand with pro- 
slavery Democrats, are making Choate's theories practical. 
Thomas Jefferson, a slaveholder, mindful of the moral element in 
slavery, solemnly declared that he "trembled for his country 
when he remembered that God is just; " while Judge Douglas, with 
an insignificant wave of the hand, " don't care whether slavery is 
voted up or voted down." Now, if slavery is right, or even nega- 
tive, he has a right to treat it in this trifling manner. But if it 
is a moral and political wrong, as all Christendom considers it 
to be, how can he answer to God for this attempt to spread and 
fortify it ? [Applause.] 

But no man, and Judge Douglas no more than any other, can 
maintain a negative, or merely neutral, position on this question; 


and, accordingly, he avows that the Union was made by white 
men and for white men and their descendants. As matter of fact, 
the first branch of the proposition is historically true; the gov- 
ernment was made by white men, and they were and are the su- 
perior race. This I admit. But the corner-stone of the govern- 
ment, so to speak, was the declaration that " all men are created 
equal," and all entitled to " life, liberty, and the pursuit of hap- 
piness." [Applause.] 

And not only so, but the framers of the Constitution were par- 
ticular to keep out of that instrument the word " slave," the 
reason being that slavery would ultimately come to an end, and 
they did not wish to have any reminder that in this free country 
human beings were ever prostituted to slavery. [Applause.] Nor 
is it any argument that we are superior and the negro inferior — 
that he has but one talent while we have ten. Let the negro pos- 
sess the little he has in independence; if he has but one talent, 
he should be permitted to keep the little he has. [Applause.] 
But slavery will endure no test of reason or logic; and yet its ad- 
vocates, like Douglas, use a sort of bastard logic, or noisy assump- 
tion, it might better be termed, like the above, in order to prepare 
the mind for the gradual, but none the less certain, encroachments 
of the Moloch of slavery upon the fair domain of freedom. But 
however much you may argue upon it, or smother it in soft phrase, 
slavery can only be maintained by force — by violence. The repeal 
of the Missouri Compromise was by violence. It was a violation 
of both law and the sacred obligations of honor, to overthrow and 
trample underfoot a solemn compromise, obtained by the fearful 
loss to freedom of one of the fairest of our Western domains. 
Congress violated the will and confidence of its constituents in 
voting for the bill; and while public sentiment, as shown by the 
elections of 1854, demanded the restoration of this compromise, 
Congress violated its trust by refusing, simply because it had the 
force of numbers to hold on to it. And murderous violence is 
being used now, in order to force slavery on to Kansas; for it 
cannot be done in any other way. [Sensation.] 

The necessary result was to establish the rule of violence — force, 
instead of the rule of law and reason; to perpetuate and spread 
slavery, and, in time, to make it general. We see it at both ends of 
the line. In Washington on the very spot where the outrage was 
started, the fearless Sumner is beaten to insensibility, and is now 
slowly dying; while senators who claim to be gentlemen and Chris- 
tians stood by, countenancing the act, and even applauding it 
afterward in their places in the Senate. Even Douglas, our man, 
saw it all and was within helping distance, yet let the murderous 
blows fall unopposed. Then, at the other end of the line, at the 
very time Sumner was being murdered, Lawrence was being de- 
stroyed for the crime of Freedom. It was the most prominent 
stronghold of liberty in Kansas, and must give way to the all- 
dominating power of slavery. Only two days ago, Judge Trum* 



bull found it necessary to 1 * propose a bill in the Senaxe to prevent 
a general civil war and to restore peace in Kansas. 

We live in the midst of alarms; anxiety beclouds the future; we 
expect some new disaster with each newspaper we read. Are we 
in a healthful political state? Are not the tendencies plain? Do 
not the signs of the times point plainly the way in which we are 
going? [Sensation.] 

In the early days of the Constitution slavery was recognized, 
by South and North alike, as an evil, and the division 01 senti- 
ment about it was not controlled by geographical lines or consid- 
erations of climate, but by moral and philanthropic views. Peti- 
tions for the abolition of slavery were presented to the very first 
Congress by Virginia and Massachusetts alike. To show the har- 
mony which prevailed, I will state that a fugitive slave law was 
passed in 1793, with no dissenting voice in the Senate, and but 
seven dissenting votes in the House. It was, however, a wise law, 
moderate, and, under the Constitution, a just one. Twenty-five 
years later, a more stringent law was proposed and defeated; and 
thirty-five years after that, the present law, drafted by Mason 
of Virginia, was passed by Northern votes. I am not, just now, 
complaining of this law, but I am trying to show how the current 
sets; for the proposed law of 1817 was far less offensive than the 
present one. In 1774 the Continental Congress pledged itself, 
without a dissenting vote, to wholly discontinue the slave trade, 
and to neither purchase nor import any slave; and less than three 
months before the passage of the Declaration of Independence, 
the same Congress which adopted that declaration unanimously 
resolved " that no slave be imported into any of the thirteen 
United Colonies/' [Great applause.] 

On the second day of July, 1776, the draft of a Declaration of 
Independence was reported to Congress by the committee, and 
in it the slave trade was characterized as " an execrable commerce," 
as " a piratical warfare," as the " opprobrium of infidel powers," 
and as " a cruel war against human nature." [Applause.] All 
agreed on this except South Carolina and Georgia, and in order to 
preserve harmony, and from the necessity of the case, these ex- 
pressions were omitted. Indeed, abolition societies existed as far 
south as Virginia; and it is a well-known fact that Washington, 
Jefferson, Madison, Lee, Henry, Mason, and Pendleton were quali- 
fied abolitionists, and much more radical on that subject than we 
of the Whig and Democratic parties claim to be to-day. On 
March 1, 1784, Virginia ceded to the confederation all its lands 
lying northwest of the Ohio River. Jefferson, Chase of Mary- 
land, and Howell of Rhode Island, as a committee on that and 
territory thereafter to be ceded, reported that no slavery should 
exist after the year 1800. Had this report been adopted, not only 
the Northwest, but Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Missis- 
sippi also would have been free; but it required the assent of 
nine States to ratify it. North Carolina was divided, and thus 


its vote was lost; and Delaware, Georgia, and New Jersey refused 
to vote. In point of fact, as it was, it was assented to by six 
States. Three years later, on a square vote to exclude 
slavery from the Northwest, only one vote, and that from 
New York, was against it. And yet, thirty-seven years 
later, five thousand citizens of Illinois out of a voting mass of less 
than twelve thousand, deliberately, after a long and heated con- 
test, voted to introduce slavery in Illinois; and, to-day, a large 
party in the free State of Illinois are willing to vote to fasten the 
shackles of slavery on the fair domain of Kansas, notwithstanding 
it received the dowry of freedom long before its birth as a political 
community. I repeat, therefore, the question: Is it not plain in 
what direction we are tending? [Sensation.] In the colonial 
time, Mason, Pendleton, and Jefferson were as hostile to slavery 
in Virginia as Otis, Ames, and the Adamses were in Massachusetts ; 
and Virginia made as earnest an effort to get rid of it as old Massa- 
chusetts did. But circumstances were against them and they failed; 
but not that the good will of its leading men was lacking. Yet within 
less than fifty years Virginia changed its tune, and made negro- 
breeding for the cotton and sugar States one of its leading indus- 
tries. [Laughter and applause.] 

In the Constitutional Convention, George Mason of Virginia 
made a more violent abolition speech than my friends Lovejoy or 
Codding would desire to make here to-day — a speech which could 
not be safely repeated anywhere on Southern soil in this enlight- 
ened year. But while there were some differences of opinion on 
this subject even then, discussion was allowed; but as you see by 
the Kansas slave code, which, as you know, is the Missouri slave 
code, merely ferried across the river, it is a felony to even express 
an opinion hostile to that foul blot in the land of Washington and 
the Declaration of Independence. [Sensation.] 

In Kentucky — my State — in 1849, on a test vote, the mighty 
influence of Henry Clay and many other good men there could not 
get a symptom of expression in favor of gradual emancipation 
on a plain issue of marching toward the light of civilization with 
Ohio and Illinois; but the State of Boone and Hardin and Henry 
Clay, with a nigger under each arm, took the black trail toward 
the deadly swamps of barbarism. Is there — can there be — any 
doubt about this thing? And is there any doubt that we must 
all lay aside our prejudices and march, shoulder to shoulder, in 
the great army of Freedom? [Applause.] 

Every Fourth of July our young orators all proclaim this to be 
" the land of the free and the home of the brave ! " Well, now, 
when you orators get that off next year, and, may be, this very 
year, how would you like some old grizzled farmer to get up in 
the grove and deny it? [Laughter.] How would you like that? 
But suppose Kansas comes in as a slave State, and all the " border 
ruffians " have barbecues about it, and free-State men come trail- 
ing back to the dishonored North, like whipped dogs with their 



tails between their legs, it is — ain't it? — evident that this is no 
more the " land of the free ; " and if we let it go so, we won't dare 
to say "home of the brave" out loud. [Sensation and confusion.] 

Can any man doubt that, even in spite of the people's will, slav- 
ery will triumph through violence, unless that will be made mani- 
fest and enforced? Even Governor Keeder claimed at the outset 
that the contest in Kansas was to be fair, but he got his eyes open 
at last; and I believe that, as a result of this moral and physical 
violence, Kansas will soon apply for admission as a slave State. 
And yet we can't mistake that the people don't want it so, and 
that it is a land which is free both by natural and political law. 
No law, is free law! Such is the understanding of all Christendom. 
In the Somerset case, decided nearly a century ago, the great Lord 
Mansfield held that slavery was of such a nature that it must take 
its rise in positive (as distinguished from natural) law; and that 
in no country or age could it be traced back to any other source. 
Will some one please tell me where is the positive law that estab- 
lishes slavery in Kansas ? [A voice : " The bogus laws."] Aye, 
the bogus laws! And, on the same principle, a gang of Missouri 
horse-thieves could come into Illinois and declare horse-stealing 
to be legal [Laughter], and it would be just as legal as slavery 
is in Kansas. But by express statute, in the land of Washington 
and Jefferson, we may soon be brought face to face with the dis- 
creditable fact of showing to the world by our acts that we prefer 
slavery to freedom — darkness to light! [Sensation.] 

It is, I believe, a principle in law that when one party to a 
contract violates it so grossly as to chiefly destroy the object for 
which it is made, the other party may rescind it. I will ask 
Browning if that ain't good law. [Voices : " Yes ! "] Well, now 
if that be right, I go for rescinding the whole, entire Missouri 
Compromise and thus turning Missouri into a free State; and I 
should like to know the difference — should like for any one to 
point out the difference — between our making a free State of 
Missouri and their making a slave State of Kansas. [Great ap- 
plause.] There ain't one bit of difference, except that our way 
would be a great mercy to humanity. But I have never said — 
and the Whig party has never said — and those who oppose the 
Nebraska bill do not as a body say, that they have any intention 
of interfering with slavery in the slave States. Our platform says 
just the contrary. We allow slavery to exist in the slave States, — 
not because slavery is right or good, but from the necessities of 
iur Union. We grant a fugitive slave law because it is so " nom- 
inated in the bond ; " because our fathers so stipulated — had to — 
and we are bound to carry out this agreement. But they did not 
agree to introduce slavery in regions where it did not previously 
exist. On the contrary, they said by their example and teachings 
that they did not deem it expedient — did not consider it right — ■ 
to do so; and it is wise and right to do just as they did about it 
f Voices: " Good! "1. and that is what we propose — not to interfere 


with slavery where it exists (we have never tried to do it), and 
to give them a reasonable and efficient fugitive slave law. [A 
voice: "No!"] I say ^ YES ! [Applause.] It was part of the 
bargain, and Fm for living up to it ; but I go no further ; I'm not 
bound to do more, and I we.;"' agree any further. [Great ap- 

We, here in Illinois, should feel especially proud of the pro- 
vision of the Missouri Compromise excluding slavery from what 
is now Kansas; for an Illinois man, Jesse B. Thomas, was its 
father. Henry Clay, who is credited with the authorship of the 
Compromise in general terms, did not even vote for that pro- 
vision, but only advocated the ultimate admission by a second 
compromise; and Thomas was, beyond all controversy, the real 
author of the " slavery restriction " branch of the Compromise. 
To show the generosity of the Northern members toward the South- 
ern side: on a test vote to exclude slavery from Missouri, ninety 
voted not to exclude, and eighty-seven to exclude, every vote from 
the slave States being ranged with the former and fourteen votes 
from the free States, of whom seven were from New England 
alone; while on a vote to exclude slavery from what is now Kan- 
sas, the vote was one hundred and thirty-four for, to forty-two 
against. The scheme, as a whole, was, of course, a Southern 
triumph. It is idle to contend otherwise, as is now being done 
by the Nebraskites ; it was so shown by the votes and quite as em- 
phatically by the expressions of representative men. Mr. Lowndes 
of South Carolina was never known to commit a political mistake ; 
his was the great judgment of that section; and he declared that 
this measure "would restore tranquillity to the country — a result 
demanded by every consideration of discretion, of moderation, of 
wisdom, and of virtue." When the measure came before Presi- 
dent Monroe for his approval, he put to each member of his cabi- 
net this question: "Has Congress the constitutional power to 
prohibit slavery in a territory?" And John C. Calhoun and Wil- 
liam H. Crawford from the South, equally with John Quincy 
Adams, Benjamin Rush, and Smith Thompson from the North, 
alike answered, " Yes ! " without qualification or equivocation ; 
and this measure, of so great consequence to the South, was passed ; 
and Missouri was, by means of it, finally enabled to knock at the 
door of the Republic for an open passage to its brood of slaves. 
And, in spite of this, Freedom's share is about to be taken by vio- 
lence^ — by the force of misrepresentative votes, not called for by 
the popular will. What name can I, in common decency, give to 
this wicked transaction? [Sensation.] 

But even then the contest was not over; for when the Missouri 
constitution came before Congress for its approval, it forbade any 
free negro or mulatto from entering the State. In short, our Illi- 
nois "black laws" were hidden away in their constitution [laugh- 
ter], and the controversy was thus revived. Then it was that Mr. 
Clay's talents shone out conspicuously, and th controversy that 


shook the Union to its foundation was finally settled to the satis- 
faction of the conservative parties on both sides of the line, though 
not to the extremists on either, and Missouri was admitted by the 
small majority of six in the lower House. How great a majority, 
do you think, would have been given had Kansas also been secured 
for slavery ? [A voice : " A majority the other way."] " A ma- 
jority the other way," is answered. Do you think it would have 
been safe for a Northern man to have confronted his constituents 
after having voted to consign both Missouri and Kansas to hope- 
less slavery? And yet this man Douglas, who misrepresents his 
constituents and who has exerted his highest talents in that di- 
rection, will be carried in triumph through the State and hailed 
with honor while applauding that act. [Three groans for " Dug! "] 
And this shows whither we are tending. This thing of slavery is 
more powerful than its supporters — even than the high priests that 
minister at its altar. It debauches even our greatest men. It 
gathers strength, like a rolling snow-ball, by its own infamy. Mon- 
strous crimes are committed in its name by persons collectively 
which they would not dare to commit as individuals. Its aggres- 
sions and encroachments almost surpass belief. In a despotism, 
one might not wonder to see slavery advance steadily and remorse- 
lessly into new dominions; but is it not wonderful, is it not even 
alarming, to see its steady advance in a land dedicated to the 
proposition that "all men are created equal?" [Sensation.] 

It yields nothing itself; it keeps all it has, and gets all it can 
besides. It really came dangerously near securing Illinois in 
1824; it did get Missouri in 1821. The first proposition was to 
admit what is now Arkansas and Missouri as one slave State. 
But the territory was divided and Arkansas came in, without se- 
rious question, as a slave State; and atterwards Missouri, not as 
a sort of equality, free, but also as a slave State. Then we had 
Florida and Texas; and now Kansas is about to be forced into the 
dismal procession. [Sensation.] And so it is wherever you look. 
We have not forgotten — it is but six years since — how dangerously 
near California came to being a slave State. Texas is a slave 
State, and four other slave States may be carved from its vast 
domain. And yet, in the year 1829, slavery was abolished through- 
out that vast region by a royal decree of the then sovereign of 
Mexico. Will you please tell me by what right slavery exists in 
Texas to-day? By the same right as, and no higher or greater 
than, slavery is seeking dominion in Kansas: by political force — 
peaceful, if that will suffice; by the torch (as in Kansas) and the 
bludgeon (as in the Senate chamber), if required. And so his- 
tory repeats itself; and even as slavery has kept its course by 
craft, intimidation, and violence in the past, so it will persist, 
in my judgment, until met and dominated by the will of a people 
bent on its restriction. 

We have, this very afternoon, heard bitter denunciations of 
Brooks in Washington, and Titus, Stringfellow, Atchison, Jones, 


and Shannon in Kansas — the battle-ground of slavery. I cer- 
tainly am not going to advocate or shield them; but they and 
their acts are but the necessary outcome of the Nebraska law. 
We should reserve our highest censure for the authors of the 
mischief, and not for the catspaws which they use. I believe it 
was Shakespeare who said, " Where the offence lies, there let the 
axe fall ; " and, in my opinion, this man Douglas and the Northern 
men in Congress who advocate " Nebraska " are more guilty 
than a thousand Joneses and Stringfellows, with all their mur- 
derous practices, can be. [Applause.] 

We have made a good beginning here to-day. As our Methodist 
friends would say, " I feel it is good to be here." While extrem- 
ists may find some fault with the moderation of our platform, 
they should recollect that " the battle is not always to the strong, 
nor the race to the swift." In grave emergencies, moderation is 
generally safer than radicalism; and as this struggle is likely to be 
long and earnest, we must not, by our action, repel any who are 
in sympathy with us in the main, but rather win all that we can 
to our standard. We must not belittle nor overlook the facts of 
our condition — that we are new and comparatively weak, while 
our enemies are entrenched and relatively strong. They have 
the administration and the political power; and, right or wrong, 
at present they have the numbers. Our friends who urge an ap- 
peal to arms with so much force and eloquence, should recollect 
that the government is arrayed against us, and that the num- 
bers are now arrayed against us as well; or, to state it 
nearer to the truth, they are not yet expressly and affirmatively 
for us; and we should repel friends rather than gain them by 
anything savoring of revolutionary methods. As it now stands, 
we must appeal to the sober sense and patriotism of the people, 
We will make converts day by day; we will grow strong by calm- 
ness and moderation; we will grow strong by the violence and 
injustice of our adversaries. And, unless truth be a mockery and 
justice a hollow lie, we will be in the majority after a while, and 
then the revolution which we will accomplish will be none the 
less radical from being the result of pacific measures. The 
battle of freedom is to be fought out on principle. Slavery is 
a violation of the eternal right. We have temporized with it from 
the necessities of our condition; but as sure as God reigns and 
school children read, that black foul lie can never be conse- 
crated into God's hallowed truth! [Immense applause lasting 
some time.] One of our greatest difficulties is, that men who 
know that slavery is a detestable crime and ruinous to the nation, 
are compelled, by our peculiar condition and other circumstances, 
to advocate it concretely, though damning it in the raw. Henry 
Clay was a brilliant example of this tendency ; others of our purest 
statesmen are compelled to do so; and thus slavery secures actual 
support from those who detest it at heart. Yet Henry Clay per- 
fected and forced through the Compromise which secured to 


slavery a great State as well as a political advantage. Not that 
he hated slavery less, but that he loved the whole Union more. 
As long as slavery profited by his great Compromise, the hosts of 
pro-slavery could not sufficiently cover him with praise; but now 
that this Compromise stands in their way — 

**. . . they never mention him, 
Hia name is never heard : 
Their lips are now forbid to speak 
That once familiar word." 

They have slaughtered one of his most cherished measures, and 
his ghost would arise to rebuke them. . [Great applause.] 

Now, let us harmonize, my friends, and appeal to the moderation 
and patriotism of the people: to the sober second thought; to the 
awakened public conscience. The repeal of the sacred Missouri 
Compromise has installed the weapons of violence: the bludgeon, 
the incendiary torch, the death-dealing rifle, the bristling cannon — 
the weapons of kingcrait, of the inquisition, of ignorance, of bar- 
barism, of oppression. We see its fruits in the dying bed of the 
heroic Sumner ; in the ruins of the " Free State " hotel ; in the 
smoking embers of the "Herald of Freedom;" in the free- State 
Governor of Kansas chained to a stake on freedom's soil like a 
horse-thief, for the crime of freedom. [Applause.] We see it in 
Christian statesmen, and Christian newspapers, and Christian 
pulpits applauding the cowardly act of a low bully, who crawled 


[Sensation and applause.] We note our political demoralization 
in the catch-words that are coming into such common use; on the 
one hand, " f reedom-shriekers," and sometimes " f reedom-screech- 
ers " [Laughter] ; and, on the other hand, " border ruffians," and 
that fully deserved. And the significance of catch-words cannot 
pass unheeded, for they constitute a sign of the times. Every- 
thing in this world "jibes" in with everything else, and all the 
fruits of this Nebraska bill are like the poisoned source from 
which they come. I will not say that we may not sooner or later 
be compelled to meet force by force; but the time has not yet 
come, and if we are true to ourselves, may never come. Do not 
mistake that the ballot is stronger than the bullet. Therefore let 
the legions of slavery use bullets; but let us wait patiently till 
November and fire ballots at them in return; and by that peaceful 
policy, I believe we shall ultimately win. [Applause.] 

It was by that policy that here in Illinois the early fathers 
fought the good fight and gained the victory. In 1824 the free 
men of our State, led by Governor Coles (who was a native of 
Maryland and President Madison's private secretary), deter- 
mined that those beautiful groves should never reecho the dirge 
of one who has no title to himself. By their resolute determina- 
tion, the winds that sweep across our broad prairies shall never cool 
the parched 3>row, nor shall the unfettered streams that bring joy 



and gladness to our free soil water the tired feet, of a slave; but 
so long as those heavenly breezes and sparkling streams bless the 
land, or the groves and their fragrance or memory remain, the 
humanity to which they minister shall be forever free! [Great 
applause.] Palmer, Yates, Williams, Browning, and some more 
in this convention came from Kentucky to Illinois (instead of 
going to Missouri), not only to better their conditions, but also 
to get away from slavery. They have said so to me, and it is under- 
stood among us Kentuckians that we don't like it one bit. Now, 
can we, mindful of the blessings of liberty which the early men 
of Illinois left to us, refuse a like privilege to the free men who 
seek to plant Freedom's banner on our Western outposts ? [" No ! 
No ! "] Should we not stand by our neighbors who seek to better 
their conditions in Kansas and Nebraska? ["Yes!" "Yes!"] 
Can we as Christian men, and strong and free ourselves, wield the 
sledge or hold the iron which is to manacle anew an already op- 
pressed race ? [" No ! No ! "] " Woe unto them," it is written, 
"that decree unrighteous decrees and that write grievousness 
which they have prescribed." Can we afford to sin any more deeply 
against human liberty? ["No! No!"] 

One great trouble in the matter is, that slavery is an insidious 
and crafty power, and gains equally by open violence of the 
brutal as well as by sly management of the peaceful. Even after 
the ordinance of 1787, the settlers in Indiana and Illinois (it was 
all one government then) tried to get Congress to allow slavery 
temporarily, and petitions to that end were sent from Kaskaskia, 
and General Harrison, the Governor, urged it from Vincennes, 
the capital. If that had succeeded, good-by to liberty here. But 
John Randolph of Virginia made a vigorous report against it; 
and although they persevered so well as to get three favorable 
reports for it, yet the United States Senate, with the aid of some 
slave States, finally squelched it for good. [Applause.] And 
that is why this hall is to-day a temple for free men instead of a 
negro livery stable. [Great applause and laughter.] Once let 
slavery get planted in a locality, by ever so weak or doubtful a 
title, and in ever so small numbers, and it is like the Canada thistle 
or Bermuda grass — you can't root it out. You yourself may 
detest slavery; but your neighbor has five or six slaves, and 
he is an excellent neighbor, or your son has married his daughter, 
and they beg you to help save their property, and you vote against 
your interest and principles to accommodate a neighbor, hoping 
that your vote will be on the losing side. And others do the 
same; and in those ways slavery gets a sure foothold. And when 
that is done the whole mighty Union — the force of the nation — 
is committed to its support. And that very process is working 
in Kansas to-day. And you must recollect that the slave property 
is worth a billion of dollars ($1,000,000,000) ; while free-State men 
must work for sentiment alone. Then there are " blue lodges " — ■ 
•« ^bey call them — everywhere doing their secret and deadly work 


It is a very strange thing, and not solvable by any moral law 
that I know of, that if a man loses his horse, the whole country will 
turn out to help hang the thief; but if a man but a shade or two 
darker than I am is himself stolen, the same crowd will hang one 
who aids in restoring him to liberty. Such are the inconsisten- 
3ies of slavery, where a horse is more sacred than a man; and the 
essence of squatter or popular sovereignty — I don't care how you 
call it — is that if one man chooses to make a slave of another, 
no third man shall be allowed to object. And if you can do this 
in free Kansas, and it is allowed to stand, the next thing you 
will see is ship loads of negroes from Africa at the wharf at 
Charleston; for one thing is as truly lawful as the other; and 
these are the bastard notions we have got to stamp out, else they 
will stamp us out. [Sensation and applause.] 

Two years ago, at Springfield, Judge Douglas avowed that Illi- 
nois came into the Union as a slave State, and that slavery waa 
weeded out by the operation of his great, patent, everlasting prin- 
ciple of "popular sovereignty." [Laughter.] Well, now, that 
argument must be answered, for it has a little grain of truth at 
the bottom. I do not mean that it is true in essence, as he would 
have us believe. It could not be essentially true if the ordinance 
of '87 was valid. But, in point of fact, there were some degraded 
beings called slaves in Kaskaskia and the other French settlements 
when our first State constitution was adopted; that is a fact, and 
I don't deny it. Slaves were brought here as early as 1720, and 
were kept here in spite of the ordinance of 1787 against it. But 
slavery did not thrive here. On the contrary, under the influence 
of the ordinance, the number decreased fifty-one from 1810 to 1820; 
while under the influence of squatter sovereignty, right across the 
river in Missouri, they increased seven thousand two hundred and 
eleven in the same time; and slavery finally faded out in Illinois, 
under the influence of the law of freedom, while it grew stronger and 
stronger in Missouri, under the law or practice of "popular sovereign- 
ty." In point of fact there were but one hundred and seventeen slaves 
in Illinois one year after its admission, or one to every four hun- 
dred and seventy of its population; or, to state it in another way, 
if Illinois was a slave State in 1820, so were New York and New 
Jersey much greater slave States from having had greater num- 
bers, slavery having been established there in very early times, 
But there is this vital difference between all these States and the 
judge's Kansas experiment; that they sought to disestablish slav- 
ery which had been already established, while the judge seeks, so 
far as he can, to disestablish freedom, which had been established 
there by the Missouri Compromise. [Voices : " Good ! "] 

The Union is undergoing a fearful strain; but it is a stout old 
ship, and has weathered many a hard blow, and "the stars in 
their courses," aye, an invisible power, greater than the puny efforts 
of men, will fight for us. But we ourselves must not decline the 
burden of responsibility, nor take counsel of unworthy passions. 



Whatever duty urges us to do or to omit, must be done or omitted: 
and the recklessness with which our adversaries break the laws, 
or counsel their violation, should afford no example for us. There- 
lore, let us revere the Declaration of Independence ; let us continue 
to obey the Constitution and the laws; let us keep step to the 
music of the Union. Let us draw a cordon, so to speak, around the 
slave States, and the hateful institution, like a reptile poisoning it- 
self, will perish by its own infamy. [Applause.] 

But we cannot be free men if this is, by our national choice, 
to be a land of slavery. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve 
it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot 
long retain it. [Loud applause.] 

Did you ever, my friends, seriously reflect upon the speed with 
which we are tending downwards? Within the memory of men 
now present the leading statesmen of Virginia could make genuine, 
red-hot abolitionist speeches in old Virginia! and, as I have said, 
now even in " free Kansas " it is a crime to declare that it is " free 
Kansas." The very sentiments that I and others have just ut- 
tered, would entitle us, and each of us, to the ignominy and se- 
clusion of a dungeon; and yet I suppose that, like Paul, we were 
"free born." But if this thing is allowed to continue, it will be 
but one step further to impress the same rule in Illinois. [Sensa- 

The conclusion of all is, that we must restore the Missouri 
Compromise. We must highly resolve that Kansas must be free! 
[Great applause.] We must reinstate the birthday promise of the 
Republic; we must reaffirm the Declaration of Independence; we 
must make good in essence as well as in form Madison's avowal 
that " the word slave ought not to appear in the Constitution ; " 
and we must even go further, and decree that only local law, and 
not that time-honored instrument, shall shelter a slave-holder. We 
must make this a land of liberty in fact, as it is in name. 
But in seeking to attain these results — so indispensable if the lib- 
erty which is our pride and boast shall endure — we will be loyal 
to the Constitution and to the " flag of our Union," and no matter 
what our grievance — even though Kansas shall come in as a slave 
State ; and no matter what theirs — even if we shall restore the Com- 

go out of the Union, and you SHAN'T ! ! ! [This was the cli- 
max; the audience rose to its feet en masse, applauded, stamped, 
waved handkerchiefs, threw hats in the air, and ran riot for sev- 
eral minutes. The arch-enchanter who wrought this transforma- 
tion looked, meanwhile, like the personification of political jus- 

But let us, meanwhile, appeal, to the sense and patriotism of 
the people, and not to their prejudices; let us spread the floods 
of enthusiasm here aroused all over these vast prairies, so sugges- 
tive of freedom. Let us commence by electing the gallant sol- 
dier Governor (Colonel) Bissell who stood for the honor of out 


State alike on the plains and amidst the chaparral of Mexico and 
on the floor of Congress, while he defied the Southern Hotspur; 
and that will have a greater moral effect than all the border ruf- 
fians can accomplish in all their raids on Kansas. There is both 
a power and a magic in popular opinion. To that let us now ap- 
peal ; and while, in all probability, no resort to force will be needed, 
our moderation and forbearance will stand us in good stead when, 
ii r ever, we must make an appeal to battle and to the God op 
hosts ! ! [Immense applause and a rush for the orator.] 

William Grimes. 

Springfield, Illinois, July 12, 1856. 

Yours of the 29th of June was duly received. I did not an- 
swer it because it plagued me. This morning I received an- 
other from Judd and Peck, written by consultation with you. Now 
let me tell you why I am plagued: 

1. I can hardly spare the time. 

2. I am superstitious. I have scarcely known a party pre- 
ceding an election to call in help from the neighboring States, 
but they lost the State. Last fall, our friends had Wade, of 
Ohio, and others, in Maine; and they lost the State. Last spring 
our adversaries had New Hampshire full of South Carolinians, 
and they lost the State. And so, generally, it seems to stir up 
more enemies than friends. 

Have the enemy called in any foreign help? If they have a 
foreign champion there, I should have no objection to drive a 
nail in his track. I shall reach Chicago on the night of the 15th, 
to attend to a little business in court. Consider the things I have 
suggested, and write me at Chicago. Especially write me whether 
Browning consents to visit you. Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

(From " Life of Wm. Grimes," by Salter.) 

John Bennett. 

Springfield, Aug. 4, 1856. 
John Bennett, Esq. 

Dear Sir: I understand you are a Fillmore man — If, as be- 
tween Fremont and Buchanan you really prefer the election of 
Buchanan, then burn this without reading a line further — But 
if you would like to defeat Buchanan and his gang, allow me 
a word with you — Does any one pretend that Fillmore can 
carry the vote of this State? I have not heard a single man pre- 
tend so — Every vote taken from Fremont and given to Fillmore is 
just so much in favor of Buchanan. The Buchanan men see this ; 
and hence their great anxiety in favor of the Fillmore movement — 
They know where the shoe pinches — They now greatly prefer 
having a man of your character go for Fillmore than for Buchanan 



because they expect several to go with you, who would go for 
Fremont, if you were to go directly for Buchanan. 

I think I now understand the relative strength of the three par- 
ties in this state as well as any one man does and my opinion 
is that to-day Buchanan has alone 85,000 — Fremont 78,000 and 
Fillmore 21,000. This gives B. the state by 7,000 and leaves him 
in the minority of the whole 14,000. 

Fremont and Fillmore men being united on Bissell as they al- 
ready are, he can not be beaten — This is not a long letter, but 
it contains the whole story, Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by E. R. Oeltjen, Petersburg, 111.) 

Springfield, Aug. 19, 1856. 

Dear Dubois : Your letter on the same sheet with Mr. Miller's is 
just received. I have been absent four days. I do not know when 
your court sits. 

Trumbull has written the Committee here to have a set of 
appointments made for him commencing here in Springfield, 
on the 11th of Sept., and to extend throughout the south half 
of the State. When he goes to Lawrenceville, as he will, I will 
strain every nerve to be with you and him. More than that I can- 
not promise now. Yours as truly as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by C. F. Gunther, Chicago, HI.) 

Dr. R. Boal, Lacon, 111. 

Sept. 14, 1856. 
Dr. R. Boal. 

My Dear Sir: Yours of the 8th inviting me to be with (you) 
at Lacon on the 30th is received. I feel that I owe you and our 
friends of Marshall, a good deal; and I will come if I can; and 
if I do not get there, it will be because I shall think my efforts 
are now needed further South. 
Present my regards to Mrs. Boal, and believe (me), as ever 

Your friend, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Dr. Robert Boal, Lacon, 111.) 

Dr. R. Boal, Lacon, 111. 

Springfield, Dec. 25, 1856. 
Dr. R. Boal. 

Dear Sir: When I was at Chicago two weeks ago I saw Mr. 
Arnold, and from a remark of his, I inferred he was thinking of 
the Speakership, though I think he was not anxious about it. 


He seemed most anxious for harmony generally, and particularly 
that the contested seats from Peoria and McDonough might be 
rightly determined. Since I came home I had a talk with Cul- 
lom, one of our American representatives here, and he says he 
is for you for Speaker, and also that he thinks all the Americana 
will be for you, unless it be Gorin, of Macon, of whom he cannot 
speak. If you would like to be Speaker go right up and see 
Arnold. He is talented, a practiced debater, and, I think, would do 
himself more credit on the floor than in the Speaker's seat. Go and 
see him; and if you think fit, show him this letter. 

Your friend as ever. 

(Original owned by Dr. Robert Boal, Lacon, III"/ 


Springfield, III., February 20, 1857. 
John E. Rosette, Esq. : 

Dear Sir : Your note about the little paragraph in the " Re- 
publican" was received yesterday, since which time I have been 
too unwell to notice it. I had not supposed you wrote or approved 
it. The whole originated in mistake. You know by the conversa- 
tion with me that I thought the establishment of the paper unfor- 
tunate, but I always expected to throw no obstacle in its way, and 
to patronize it to the extent of taking and paying for one copy. 
When the paper was brought to my house, my wife said to me, 
"Now are you going to take another worthless little paper?" I 
said to her evasively, " I have not directed the paper to be left." 
From this, in my absence, she sent the message to the carrier. This 
is the whole story. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(From Herndon's " Life of Lincoln.") 

To William Grimes. 

Springfield, Illinois, August, 1857. 

Dear Sir: Yours of the 14th is received, and I am much 
obliged for the legal information you give. 

You can scarcely be more anxious than I that the next election 
in Iowa should result in favor of the Republicans. I lost nearly 
all the working-part of last year, giving my time to the canvass; 
and I am altogether too poor to lose two years together. I am 
engaged in a suit in the United States Court at Chicago, in which 
the Rock Island Bridge Company is a party. The trial is to com- 
mence on the 8th of September, and probably will last two or three 
weeks. During the trial it is not improbable that all hands may 
come over and take a look at the bridge, and, if it were possible 


to make it hit right, I could then speak at Davenport. My courts 
go right on without cessation till late in November. Write me 
again, pointing out the more striking points of difference be- 
tween your old and new constitutions, and also whether Demo- 
cratic and Republican party lines were drawn in the adoption of 
it, and which were for and which were against it. If, by 
possibility, I could get over among you it might be of some ad- 
vantage to know these things in advance. Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
(From " Life of Wm. Grimes," by Salter.) 



From " The Daily Fress " of Chicago, Sept. 24, 1857. 



Railroad Bridge Co. 

United States Circuit Court, 
Hon. John McClean, Presiding Judge. 
13th day, Tuesday, Sept. 22nd, 1857 



Mr. A. Lincoln addressed the jury. He said he did not purpose to 
assail anybody, that he expected to grow earnest as he proceeded 
but not ill natured. " There is some conflict of testi- 
mony in the case," he said, " but one quarter of such a number 
of witnesses seldom agree and even if all were on one side, some 
discrepancy might be expected. We are to try and reconcile 
them, and to believe that they are not intentionally erroneous 
as long as we can." He had no prejudice, he said, against steam 
boats or steamboatmen nor any against St. Louis for he sup- 
posed they went about this matter as other people would do in 
their situation. " St. Louis," he continued, " as a commercial 
place may desire that this bridge should not stand as it is ad- 
verse to her commerce, diverting a portion of it from the river; 
and it may be that she supposes that the additional cost of rail- 
road transportation upon the productions of Iowa will force them 
to go to St. Louis if this bridge is removed. The meetings in St. 
Louis are connected with this case only as some witnesses are in 
it and thus has some prejudice added color to their testimony." 

The last thing that would be pleasing to him, Mr. Lincoln said, 
would be to have one of these great channels extending almost 


from where it never freezes to where it never thaws blocked up 
but there is a travel from east to west whose demands are not less 
important than that of those of the river. It is growing larger and 
larger, building up new countries with a rapidity never before 
seen in the history of the world. He alluded to the astonishing 
growth of Illinois having grown within his memory to a population 
of a million and a half; to Iowa and the other young rising com- 
munities of the northwest. 

" This current of travel," said he, " has its rights as well as that 
of north and south. If the river had not the advantage in priority 
and legislation we could enter into free competition with it and we 
could surpass it. This particular railroad line has a great im- 
portance and the statement of its business during a little less 
than a year shows this importance. It is in evidence that from 
September 8th, 1856, to August 8th, 1857, 12,586 freight cars and 
74,179 passengers passed over this bridge. Navigation was closed 
four days short of four months last year, and during this time 
while the river was of no use this road and bridge were valuable. 
There is too a considerable portion of time when floating or thin 
ice makes the river useless while the bridge is as useful as ever. 
This shows that this bridge must be treated with respect in this 
court and is not to be kicked about with contempt. The other 
day Judge Wead alluded to the strike of the contending interest 
and even a dissolution of the Union. The proper mode for all 
parties in this affair is to ' live and let live '• and then we will 
find a cessation of this trouble about the bridge. What mood 
were the steamboat men in when this bridge was burned? Why 
there was a shouting and ringing of bells and whistling on all 
the boats as it fell. It was a jubilee, a greater celebration than 
follows an excited election. The first thing I will proceed to is the 
record of Mr. Gurney and the complaint of Judge Wead that 
the record did not extend back over all the time from the comple- 
tion of the bridge. The principal part of the navigation after the 
bridge was burned passed through the span. When the bridge 
was repaired and the boats were a second time confined to the 
draw it was provided that this record should be kept- That is the 
simple history of that book. 

" From April 19th, 1856, to May 6th — seventeen days — there were 
twenty accidents and all the time since then there have been but 
twenty hits, including seven accidents, so that the dangers of this 
place are tapering off and as the boatmen get cool the accidents 
get less. We may soon expect if this ratio is kept up that there 
will be no accidents at all. 

" Judge Wead said while admitting that the floats went straight 
through there was a difference between a float and a boat, but I 
do not remember that he indulged us with an argument in sup- 
port of this statement. Is it because there is a difference in size? 
Will not a small body and a large one float the same way under 
the same influence? True a flat boat will float faster than an 



egg shell and the egg shell might be blown away by the wind, but if 
under the same influence they would go the same way. Logs, floats, 
boards, various things the witnesses say all show the same cur- 
rent. Then is not this test reliable? At all depths too the direc- 
tion of the current is the same. A series of these floats would 
make a line as long as a boat and would show any influence upon 
any part and all parts of the boat. 

"I will now speak of the angular position of the piers. What 
is the amount of the angle ? The course of the river is a curve and 
the pier is straight. If a line is produced from the upper end of 
the long pier straight with the pier to a distance of 350 feet and a 
line is drawn from a point in the channel opposite this point to 
the head of the pier, Colonel Nason says they will form an angle 
of twenty degrees. But the angle if measured at the pier is seven 
degrees, that is we would have to move the pier seven degrees 
to make it exactly straight with the current. Would that make 
the navigation better or worse? The witnesses of the plaintiff 
seem to think it was only necessary to say that the pier formed 
an angle with the current and that settled the matter. Our more 
careful and accurate witnesses say that though they had been 
accustomed to seeing the piers placed straight with the current, 
yet they could see that here the current had been made straight 
by us in having made this slight angle; that the water now runs 
just right, that it is straight and cannot be improved. They think 
that if the pier was changed the eddy would be divided and the 
navigation improved. 

" I am not now going to discuss the question what is a material 
obstruction. We do not greatly differ about the law. The cases 
produced here are I suppose proper to be taken into consideration 
by the court in instructing a jury. Some of them I think are not 
exactly in point, but I am still willing to trust his honor, Judge 
McClean, and take his instructions as law. What is reasonable 
skill and care? This is a thing of which the jury are to judge. 
I differ from the other side when it says that they are bound to 
exercise no more care than was taken before the building of the 
bridge. If we are allowed by the legislature to build the bridge 
which will require them to do more than before when a pilot 
comes along it is unreasonable for him to dash on heedless of this 
structure which has been legally put there. The Afton came there 
on the 5th and lay at Rock Island until next morning. When a 
boat lies up the pilot has a holiday, and would not any of these 
jurors have then gone around to the bridge and gotten acquainted 
with the place. Pilot Parker has shown here that he does not 
understand the draw. I heard him say that the fall from the head 
to the foot of the pier was four feet; he needs information. He 
could have gone there that day and seen there was no such fall. 
He should have discarded passicz? and the chances are that he 
would have had no disaster at all. He was boun^ to make himseli 
acquainted with the place. 


" McCammon says that the current and the swell coming from 
the long pier drove her against the long pier. In other words 
drove her toward the very pier from which the current came! It 
is an absurdity, an impossibility. The only recollection I can 
find for this contradiction is in a current which White says strikes 
out from the long pier and then like a ram's horn turns back and 
this might have acted somehow in this manner. 

"It is agreed by all that the plaintiffs boat was destroyed and 
that it was destroyed upon the head of the short pier; that she 
moved from the channel where she was with her bow above the 
head of the long pier; till she struck the short one, swung around 
under the bridge and there was crowded and destroyed. 

"I shall try to prove that the average velocity of the current 
through the draw with the boat in it should be five and a half 
miles an hour ; that it is slowest at the head of the pier and swiftest 
at the foot of the pier. Their lowest estimate in evidence is six 
miles an hour, their highest twelve miles. This was the testi- 
mony of men who had made no experiment, only conjecture. We 
have adopted the most exact means. The water runs swiftest in 
high water and we have taken the point of nine feet above low 
water. The water when the Afton was lost was seven feet above 
low water, or at least a foot lower than our time. Brayton and 
his assistants timed the instrument. The best instruments known 
in measuring currents. They timed them under various circum- 
stances and they found the current five miles an hour and no 
more. They found that the water at the upper end ran slower 
than five miles ; that below it was swifter than five miles, but that 
the average was five miles. Shall men who have taken no care, 
who conjecture, some of whom speak of twenty miles an hour, be 
believed against those who have had such a favorable and well 
improved opportunity? They should not even qualify the result. 
Several men have given their opinion as to the distance of the 
steamboat Carson and I suppose if one should go and measure 
that distance you would believe him in preference to all of them. 

" These measurements were made when the boat was not in the 
draw. It has been ascertained what is the area of the cross sec- 
tion of this stream and the area of the face of the piers and the 
engineers say that the piers being put there will increase the cur- 
rent proportionally as the space is decreased. So with the boat 
in the draw. The depth of the channel was twenty-two feet, the 
width one hundred and sixteen feet, multiply there and you have 
the square feet across the water of the draw, viz. : 2,552 feet. The 
Afton was 35 feet wide and drew 5 feet, making a fourteenth of 
the sum. Now, one-fourteenth of five miles is five-fourteenths of 
one mile— about one third of a mile — the increase of the current. 
We will call the current five and a half miles per hour. The next 
thing I will try to prove is that the plaintiff's ( ?) boat had power 
to run six miles an hour in that current. It has been testified 
that she was a strong, swift boat, able to run eight miles an hour 


up stream in a current of four miles an hour and fifteen miles down 
stream. Strike the average and you will find what is her average — ■ 
about eleven and a half miles. Take the five and a half miles 
which is the speed of the current in the draw and it leaves the 
power of that boat in that draw at six miles an hour, 528 feet 
per minute and 8 4-5 feet to the second. 

" Next I propose to show that there are no cross currents. I 
know their witnesses say that there are cross currents — that as 
one witness says there were three cross currents and two eddies; 
so far as mere statement without experiment and mingled with 
mistakes can go they have proved. But can these men's testi- 
mony be compared with the nice, exact, thorough experiments of 
our witnesses. Can you believe that these floats go across the 
currents? It is inconceivable that they could not have discov- 
ered every possible current. How do boats find currents that 
floats cannot discover? We assume the position then that those 
cross currents are not there. My next proposition is that the Afton 
passed between the 8. B. Carson and the Iowa shore. That is un- 

" Next I shall show that she struck first the short pier, then the 
long pier, then the short one again and there she stopped." 

Mr. Lincoln then cited the testimony of eighteen witnesses on 
this point: 

" How did the boat strike when she went in ? Here is an end- 
less variety of opinion. But ten of them say what pier she struck; 
three of them testify that she struck first the short, then the long 
and then the short for the last time. None of the rest substan- 
tially contradict this. I assume that these men have got the 
truth because I believe it an established fact. My next proposi- 
tion is that after she struck the short and long pier and before she 
got back to the short pier the boat got right with her bow up. So 
says the pilot Parker — ' that he got her through until her star- 
board wheel passed the short pier.' This would make her head about 
even with the head of the long pier. He says her head was as high 
or higher than the head of the long pier. Other witnesses confirmed 
this one. The final stroke was in the splash door aft the wheel. 
Witnesses differ but the majority say that she struck thus." 

Court adjourned. 

14th day, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1857. 

Mr. A. Lincoln resumed. He said he should conclude as soon as 
possible. He said the colored map of the plaintiff which was 
brought in during one stage of the trial showed itself that the 
cross currents alleged did not exist. That the current as repre- 
sented would drive an ascending boat to the long pier but not 
to the short pier, as they urge. He explained from a model of a 
boat where the splash door is just behind the wheel. The boat 
struck on the lower shoulder of the short pier as she swung around 


m the splash door, then as she went on around she struck the 
point or end of the pier where she rested. " Her engineers," said 
Mr. Lincoln, "say the starboard wheel then was rushing around 
rapidly. Then the boat must have struck the upper point of the 
pier so far back as not to disturb the wheel. It is forty feet 
from the stern of the Afton to the splash door and thus it appears 
that she had but forty feet to go to clear the pier. How was it 
that the Afton with all her power flanked over from the channel 
to the short pier without moving one foot ahead? Suppose she 
was in the middle of the draw, her wheel would have been 31 fee- 
from the short pier. The reason she went over thus is her star- 
board wheel was not working. I shall try to establish the fact 
that the wheel was not running and that after she struck she 
went ahead strong on this same wheel. Upon the last point the 
witnesses agree that the starboard wheel was running after she 
struck and no witnesses say that it was running while she was 
out in the draw flanking over," 

Mr. Lincoln read from the testimonies of various witnesses to 
prove that the starboard wheel was not working while the Afton 
was out in the stream. 

" Other witnesses show that the captain said something of the 
machinery of the wheel and the inference is that he knew the 
wheel was not working. The fact is undisputed that she did not 
move one inch ahead while she was moving this 31 feet sideways. 
There is evidence proving that the current there is only five miles 
an hour and the only explanation is that her power was not all 
used — that only one wheel was working. The pilot says he or- 
dered the engineers to back her up. The engineers differ from 
him and said they kept one going ahead. The bow was so swung 
that the current pressed it over; the pilot pressed the 
stern over with the rudder though not so fast but that the bow 
gained on it and only one wheel being in motion the boat nearly 
stood still so far as motion up and down is concerned, and thus 
she was thrown upon this pier. The Afton came into the draw 
after she had just passed the Carson and as the Carson no doubt 
kept the true course the Afton going around her got out of the 
proper way, got across the current into the eddy which is west of 
a straight line drawn down from the long pier, was compelled to 
resort to these changes of wheels which she did not do with suffi- 
cient adroitness to save her. Was it not her own fault that she 
entered wrong, so far wrong that she never got right? Is the de- 
fense to blame for that? 

" For several days we were entertained with depositions about 
boats ' smelling a bar.' Why did the Afton then after she had 
come up smelling so close to the long pier sheer off so strangely 
when she got to the center of the very nose she was smelling she 
seemed suddenly to have lost her sense of smell and to have flanked 
over to the short pier." 

Mr. Lincoln said there was no practicability in the project of 



building a tunnel under the river, for there " is not a tunnel that 
i9 a successful project in this world. A suspension bridge cannot 
be built so high but that the chimneys of the boats will grow up 
till they cannot pass. The steamboatmen will take pains to make 
them grow. The cars of a railroad cannot without immense ex- 
pense rise high enough to get even with a suspension bridge or 
go low enough to get through a tunnel; such expense is unrea- 

" The plaintiffs have to establish that the bridge is a material 
obstruction and that they have managed their boat with reason- 
able care and skill As to the last point high winds have nothing 
to do with it, for it was not a windy day. They must show due skill 
and care. Difficulties going down stream will not do for they were 
going up stream. Difficulties with barges in tow have nothing to 
do with the accident, for they had no barge." 

Mr. Lincoln said he had much more to say, many things he 
could suggest to the jury, but he wished to close to save time. 

Jesse K. Dubois. 

Bloomington, Dec. 21, 1857. 

Dear Dubois : J. M. Douglas of the I. C. R. R. Co. is here and 
will carry this letter. He says they have a large sum (near $90,000) 
which they will pay into the treasury now, if they have an assur- 
ance that they shall not be sued before Jany. 1859 — otherwise not. 
I really wish you could consent to this. Douglas says they can 
not pay more and I believe him. 

I do not write this as a lawyer seeking an advantage for a client ; 
but only as a friend, only urging you to do what I think I would 
do if I were in your situation. I mean this as private and confi- 
dential only, but I feel a good deal of anxiety about it. 

Yours, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by C. F. Gunther, Chicago, 111.) 

Springfield, Jan. 19, 1858. 
To Hon. Geo. T. Brown: 

Send Jo. Gillespie up here at once. Don't fail. 

A. Lincoln. 
(Copy of note, sent with telegram, from Brown to Gillespie.) 

Dear Jo: 

Have just rec'd this telegraph. I know nothing further. I send 
a buggy for you. Brown. 

(Copy of telegram sent from Abraham Lincoln, [Springfield] to 
Joseph Gillespie, [Edwardsville] through George T. Brown, 

(Original owned by Mre. Josephine Gillespie Prickett.) 


Springfield, 3&n. 19, 1858. 
Hon. Joseph Gillespie: 

My Dear Sir: This morning Col. McClernand showed me a 
petition for a mandamus against the Secretary of State to compel 
him to certify the apportionment act of last session; and he says 
it will be presented to the court to-morrow morning. We shall be 
allowed three or four days to get up a return ; and I, for one, want 
the benefit of consultation with you. 

Please come right up. Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Mrs. Josephine Gillespie Prickett of Ed- 
wardsville, 111.) 

Springfield, Feb. 7, 1858. 
Hon. J. Gillespie: 

My Dear Sir: Yesterday morning the court overruled the de- 
murrer to Hatch's return in the mandamus case. McClernand 
was present; said nothing about pleading over; and so I suppose 
the matter is ended. The court gave no reason for the decision; 
but Peck tells me confidentially that they were unanimous in the 
opinion that even if the Gov'r had signed the bill purposely, he had 
the right to scratch his name off, so long as the bill remained in his 
custody and control. Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Mrs. Josephine Gillespie Prickett of Ed» 
wardsville, HI.) 

Mr. Edward G. Miner, Winchester, HI. 

Springfield, Feb. 19, 1858. 
Edward G. Miner, Esq., — 

My Dear Sir: Mr. G. A. Sutton is an applicant for superin- 
tendent of the addition to the Insane Asylum, and I understand it 
partly depends on you whether he gets it. 

Mr. Sutton is my fellow townsman and friend, and I therefore 
wish to say for him that he is a man of sterling integrity and as a 
master mechanic and builder not surpassed by any in our city, or 
any I have known anywhere as far as I can judge. 

I hope you will consider me as being really interested for Mr. 
Sutton and not as writing merely to relieve myself of importunity. 

Please show this to Col. William Ross and let him consider it 
as much intended for him as for yourself. 

Your friend as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Edward G. Miner, Jr., Rochester, N. Y.) 


Sydney Spring, Grayville, HI. 

Springfield, June 19, 1858. 
Sydney Spring, Esq., 

My Dear Sir: Your letter introducing Mr. Faree was duly 
received. There was no opening to nominate him for Superin- 
tendent of Public Instruction, but through him, Egypt made a 
most valuable contribution to the convention. I think it may 
be fairly said that he came off the lion of the day — or rather of 
the night. Can you not elect him to the Legislature? It seems 
to me he would be hard to beat. What objection could be made 
to him? What is your Senator Martin saying and doing? What 
is Webb about? 

Please write me. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by S. T. Spring, Grayville, HI.) 

Springfield, July 16, 1858. 
Hon. Joseph Gillespie: 

My Dear Sir: I write this to say that from the specimens of 
Douglas Democracy we occasionally see here from Madison, we 
learn that they are making very confident calculation of beating 
you, and your friends for the lower house, in that county. They 
offer to bet upon it. Billings and Job, respectively, have been up 
here, and were each, as I learn, talking largely about it. If they 
do so, it can only be done by carrying the Fillmore men of 1856 very 
differently from what they seem to going in the other party. Below 
is the vote of 1856, in your district. 

Counties. Buchanan. Fremont. Fillmore. 

Bond 607 153 659 

Madison 1451 1111 1658 

Montgomery 992 162 686 

3050 1426 3003 

By this you will see, if you go through the calculation, that if 
they get one-quarter of the Fillmore votes, and you three-quarters, 
they will beat you 125 votes. If they get one-fifth, and you four- 
fifths, you beat them 179. In Madison, alone, if our friends get 
1000 of the Fillmore votes, and their opponents the remainder, 658, 
we win by just two votes. 

This shows the whole field, on the basis of the election of 1856. 

Whether, since then, any Buchanan, or Fremonters, have shifted 
ground, and how the majority of new votes will go, you can judge 
better than I. 

Of course you, on the ground, can better determine your line of 
tactics than any one off the ground ; but it behooves you to be wide 
awake, and actively working. 


Don't neglect it; and write me at your first leisure. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

John Mathers, Jacksonville, 111. 

Springfield, July 20, 1858. 
Jno. Mathers, Esq. 

My Dear Sir: Your kind and interesting letter of the 19th 
was duly received. Your suggestions as to placing one's self on the 
offensive rather than the defensive are certainly correct. That is 
a point which I shall not disregard. I spoke here on Saturday night. 
The speech, not very well reported, appears in the State Journal 
of this morning. You doubtless will see it; and I hope that you 
will perceive in it, that I am already improving. I would mail 
you a copy now, but have not one hand. I thank you for your 
letter and shall be pleased to hear from you again. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
(Original owned by E. W. Mills, Virginia, HI.) 

Springfield, July 25, 1858. 
Hon. J. Gillespie : 

My Dear Sir: Your doleful letter of the 18th, was received on 
my return from Chicago last night. I do hope you are worse scared 
than hurt, though you ought to know best. We must not lose the 
district. We must make a job of it, and save it. Lay hold of the 
proper agencies, and secure all the Americans you can, at once. I 
do hope, on closer inspection, you will find they are not half gone. 
Make a little test. Run down one of the poll-books of the Ed- 
wardsville precinct, and take the first hundred known American 
names. Then quietly ascertain how many of them are actually 
going for Douglas. I think you will find less than fifty. But even 
if you find fifty, make sure of the other fifty, — that is, make sure of 
all you can, at all events. We will set other agencies to work 
which shall compensate for the loss of a good many Americans. 
Don't fail to check the stampede at once. Trumbull, I think, will 
be with you before long. 

There is much he cannot do, and some he can. I have reason 
to hope there will be other help of an appropriate kind. Write me 
again. Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Mrs. Josephine Gillespie Prickett of Ed- 
wardsville, 111.) 

B. C. Cook. 

Springfield, Aug. 2, 1858. 
Hon. B. C. Cook, 

My Dear Sir: I have a letter from a very trne friend and in- 


telligent man insisting that there is a plan on foot in La Salle 
and Bureau to run Douglas republicans for Congress and for 
the Legislature in those counties, if they can only get the en- 
couragement of our folks nominating pretty extreme abolitionists. 
It is thought they will do nothing if our folks nominate men who 
are not very obnoxious to the charge of abolitionism? Please 
have your eye upon this. 

Signs are looking pretty fair. Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by C. F. Gunther, Chicago, 111.) 

Hon. J. M. Palmer. 

Springfield, Aug. 5, 1858. 
Hon. J. M. Palmer, 

Dear Sir: Since we parted last evening no new thought has 
occurred to (me) on the subject of which we talked most yes- 

I have concluded, however, to speak at your town on Tuesday, 
August 31st, and have promised to have it so appear in the papers 
of to-morrow. Judge Trumbull has not yet reached here. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by the Eev. Preston Wood, Springfield, HI.) 

Springfield, Aug. 11, 1858. 
Alexander Sympson, Esq. : 

Dear Sm: Yours of the 6th received. If life and health con- 
tinue I shall pretty likely be at Augusta on the 25th. 

Things look reasonably well. Will tell you more fully when I 
see you. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by family of Alexander Sympson, Lewistown, HI.) 

Dr. William Fithian, Danville, HI. 

Bloomington, Sept. 3, 1858. 

Dear Doctor: Yours of the 1st was received this morning, as 
also one from Mr Harmon, and one from Hiram Beckwith on the 
same subject. You will see by the Journal that I have appointed 
to speak at Danville on the 22nd of Sept., — the day after Douglas 
speaks there. My recent experience shows that speaking at the 
same place the next day after D. is the very thing, — it is, in fact, 
a concluding speech on him. Please show this to Messrs. Harmon 
and Beckwith; and tell them they must excuse me from writing 
separate letters to them. Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

P. S. — Give full notice to all surrounding country. 

A. L. 

(Original owned by Dr. P. H. Fithian, Springfield, HI.) 


Blandinsville, Oct. 26, 1858. 
A. Sympson, Esq.: 

Dear Sir: Since parting with you this morning I heard some 
things which make me believe that Edmunds and Morrill will 
spend this week among the National Democrats trying to induce 
them to content themselves by voting for Jake Davis, and then to 
vote for the Douglas candidates for Senator and Representative. 
Have this headed off, if you can. Call Wagley's attention to it, 
and have him and the National Democrat for Rep. to counteract 
it as far as they can. Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by family of Alexander Sympson, Lewistown, 111.) 

Springfield, Dec. 8, 1858. 
H. D. Sharpe, Esq. : 

Dear Sir : Your very kind letter of Nov. 9th was duly received. 
I do not know that you expected or desired an answer ; but glancing 
over the contents of yours again, I am prompted to say that, while 
I desired the result of the late canvass to have been different, I 
still regard it as an exceeding small matter. I think we have fairly 
entered upon a durable struggle as to whether this nation is to 
ultimately become all slave or all free, and though I fall early in 
the contest, it is nothing if I shall have contributed, in the least 
degree, to the final rightful result. 

Respectfully yours, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by the family of H. D. Sharpe, Brooklyn, 
N. Y.) 

Springfield, Dec. 12, 1858. 
Alexander Sympson, Esq. : 

My Dear Sir : I expect the result of the election went hard with 
you. So it did with me, too, perhaps not quite so hard as you 
may have supposed. I have an abiding faith that we shall beat 
them in the long run. Step by step the objects of the leaders will 
become too plain for the people to stand them. I write merely to 
let you know that I am neither dead nor dying. Please give my 
respects to your good family, and all inquiring friends. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by family of Alexander Sympson, Lewistown, HI.) 


The 11th Section of the Act of Congress, approved Eeb. 11, 1805, 
prescribing rules for the subdivision of Sections of land within 



the United States system of Surveys, standing unrepealed, in my 
opinion, is binding on the respective purchasers of different parts 
of the same section, and furnishes the true rule for Surveyors 
in establishing lines between them — That law, being in force 
at this time each became a purchaser, becomes a condition of the 

And, by that law, I think the true rule for dividing into quarters, 
any interior Section, or Sections, which is not fractional, is to run 
straight lines through the Section from the opposite quarter sec- 
tion corners, fixing the point where such straight lines cross, or 
intersect each other, as the middle or center of the Section. 

Nearly, perhaps quite, all the original surveys are to some ex- 
tent, erroneous, and in some of the Sections, greatly so. In each 
of the latter, it is obvious that a more equitable mode of division 
than the above, might be adopted ; but as error is infinitely various 
perhaps no better single rules can be prescribed. 

At all events I think the above has been prescribed by the com- 
petent authority. A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, Jany. 6, 1859. 

(Original owned by L. A. Enos, Springfield, 111.) 

Hawkins Taylor. 

Springfield, III., Sept. 6, 1859. 
Hawkins Taylor, Esq. 

My Dear Sir: Yours of the 3d is just received. There is some 
mistake about my expected attendance of the U. S. Court in your 
city on the 3d Tuesday of this month. I have had no thought of 
being there. It is bad to be poor. I shall go to the wall for bread 
and meat, if I neglect my business this year as well as last. It 
would please me much to see the City, and good people, of Keokuk, 
but for this year it is little less than an impossibility. I am con- 
stantly receiving invitations which I am compelled to decline. I 
was pressingly urged to go to Minnesota; and I now have two 
invitations to go to Ohio. These last are prompted by Douglas 
going there; and I am really tempted to make a flying trip to 
Columbus and Cincinnati. 

I do hope you will have no serious trouble in Iowa. What thinks 
Grimes about it? I have not known him to be mistaken about 
an election in Iowa. Present my respects to Col. Carter, and any 
other friends; and believe me Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original in the Collection of Hist. Dept. of Iowa. Loaned by 
the Hon. Chas. Aldrich, Des Moines, Iowa.) 

March 10, 1860. 

As to your kind wishes for myself, allow me to say I cannot entei 
the ring on the money basis — first, because in the main it U 


wrong ; and secondly, I have not and cannot get the money. I say 
in the main the use of money is wrong; but for certain objects in 
a political contest, the use of some, is both right, and indispensa- 
ble. With me, as with yourself, this long struggle has been one of 
great pecuniary loss. I now distinctly say this — If you shall be 
appointed a delegate to Chicago, I will furnish one hundred dollars 
to bear the expenses of the trip. 

Present my respects to Genl. Lane; and say to him, I shall be 
pleased to hear from him at any time. 

Your friend, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Extract from letter to Kansas delegate. Original in possession 
of J. W. Weik, Greencastle, Ind.) 

Hawkins Taylor. 

Springfield, III., April 21, 1860. 
Hawkins Taylor, Esq. 

My Dear Sir: Yours of the 15th is just received. It surprises 
me that you have written twice, without receiving an answer. I 
have answered all I ever received from you; and certainly one 
since my return from the East. 

Opinions here, as to the prospect of Douglas being nominated, 
are quite conflicting — some very confident he will, and others that 
he will not be — I think his nomination possible; but that the 
chances are against him. 

I am glad there is a prospect of your party passing this way 
to Chicago. Wishing to make your visit here as pleasant as we 
can, we wish you to notify us as soon as possible, whether you 
come this way, how many, and when you will arrive. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original in the Collection of Hist. Dept. of Iowa. Loaned by 
the Hon. Chas. Aldrich, Des Moines, Iowa.) 

Hon. C. B. Smith. 

Springfield, III., May 26, 1860. 
Hon. C. B. Smith — 

My Dear Sir : Yours of the 21st, was duly received ; but I have 
found no time until now, to say a word in the way of answer. I 
am, indeed, much indebted to Indiana; and, as my home friends 
tell me, much to you personally. Your saying you no longer con- 
sider la. a doubtful state is very gratifying. The thing starts 
well everywhere — too well, I almost fear, to last. But we are in, 
and stick or go through, must be the word. 
Let me hear from Indiana occasionally. 

Your friend, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 
(Original owned by Werter G. Betty, Norwood, Ohio.) 


Springfield, III., June 4, 1860. 
Hon. George Ashmun: 

My Dear Sir: It seems as if the question whether my first 
name is " Abraham " or " Abram " will never be settled. It is 
" Abraham," and if the letter of acceptance is not yet in print, you 
may, if you think fit, have my signature thereto printed " Abraham 
Lincoln." Exercise your judgment about this. Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 
(From "Springfield, Mass., 1836-1886," by Mason A. Green.) 

W. B. Miner. 

Springfield, III., Aug. 11, 1860. 
W. B. Miner, Esq. 

Dear Sir : Yours of the 7th with newspaper slip attached is re- 
ceived; and for which I thank you. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Hist. Dept. of Iowa. Loaned by the Hon, 
Charles Aldrich, curator, Des Moines, Iowa.) 

Hon. John 


Springfield, III. Aug. 31, 1860 

Hon. John , 

My dear Sir: Yours of the 27th is duly received — It consists 
almost exclusively of a historical detail of some local troubles, 
among some of our friends in Pennsylvania; and I suppose its 
object is to guard me against forming a prejudice against Mr. Mc- 

C . I have not heard near so much upon that subject as you 

probably suppose; and I am slow to listen to criminations among 
friends, and never expose their quarrels on either side — My sin- 
cere wish is that both sides will allow by-gones to be by-gones, and 
look to the present and future only. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Chas. Roberts, Esq., Philadelphia, Pa.) 

Hon. N. Sargent. 

Springfield, III., Sept. 20, 1860. 

My Dear Sir: Your kind letter of the 16th was received yes- 
terday; have just time to acknowledge its receipt, and to say I 
thank you for it; and that I shall be pleased to hear from you 
again whenever it is convenient for you to write. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
(Original owned bv C. F. Gunther, Chicago, 111.) 



Wffi. Herndon. 

Springfield, III., October 10, 1860. 

Dear William : I cannot give you details, but it is entirely cer- 
tain that Pennsylvania and Indiana have gone Republican very 
largely. Pennsylvania 25,000, and Indiana 5,000 to 10,000. Ohio 
of course is safe. Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 
(From Herndon's " Life of Lincoln." Permission of Jesse Weik.) 

(Private and Confidential.) 

Major David Hunter, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. 

Springfield, Illinois, October 26, 1860. 
[Major David Hunter: 

My Dear Sir: Your very kind letter of the 20th was duly re- 
ceived, for which please accept my thanks. I have another letter, 
from a writer unknown to me, saying the officers of the army at 
Fort Kearny have determined, in case of Kepublican success at the 
approaching presidential election, to take themselves, and the arms 
at that point, South, for the purpose of resistance to the govern- 
ment. While I think there are many chances to one that this is a 
humbug, it occurs to me that any real movement of this sort in 
the army would leak out and become known to you. In such case, 
if it would not be unprofessional or dishonorable (of which you are 
to be judge), I shall be much obliged if you will apprise me of it. 
Yours very truly, A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by War Eecords Commission.) 

Major David Hunter. 

Springfield, Illinois, December 22, 1860. 
Major David Hunter: 

My Dear Sir: I am much obliged by the receipt of yours of 
the 18th. The most we can do now is to watch events, and be as well 
prepared as possible for any turn things may take. If the forts 
fall, my judgment is that they are to be retaken. When I shall de- 
termine definitely my time of starting to Washington, I will notify 
you. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
(Original owned by War Records Commission.) 

Hon. I. N. Morris, Quincy, HI. 

Springfield, III., Dec. 24, 1860. 
Hon. I. N. Morris, 

My Dear Sir : Without supposing that you and I are any nearer 


together, politically than heretofore, allow me to tender you my 
sincere thanks for your Union resolution, expressive of views 
upon which we never were, and, I trust, never will be at variance. 
Yours very truly, A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Thomas L. Morris, Quincey, 111.) 

Hon. Postmaster-General, Washington, D. C. 

Executive Mansion, March 12, 1861. 
Hon. Post-Master General, 

My Dear Sir: I understand that the outgoing and incoming 
Representatives for the Cleveland District, unite in recommending 
Edwin Cowles for P. M. in that City; that Senator Wade has con- 
sidered the case and declines to interfere; and that no other M. C. 
interferes. Under these circumstances, if correct, I think Mr. 
Cowles better be appointed. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Hist. Dept. of Iowa. Loaned by the Hon. 
Charles Aldrich, curator, Des Moines, Iowa.) 

Executive Mansion, March 13, 1861. 
Hon. P. M. G. 

Dear Sir: The bearer of this, Mr. C. T. Hempstow, is a Vir- 
ginian who wishes to get, for his son, a small place in your Dept. 
I think Virginia should be heard, in such cases. 


(Original owned by Hist. Dept. of Iowa. Loaned by the Hon. 
Charles Aldrich, curator, Des Moines, Iowa.) 

Washington, March 30, 1861. 
Dear Stuart : 

Cousin Lizzie shows me your letter of the 27th. The question of 
giving her the Springfield Post-office troubles me. You see I have 
already appointed William Jayne a territorial governor and Judge 
Trumbull's brother to a land-office — Will it do for me to go on and 
justify the declaration that Trumbull and I have divided out all 
the offices among our relatives? Dr. Wallace you know, is needy, 
and looks to me ; and I personally owe him much. — 

I see by the papers, a vote is to be taken as to the Post-office. 
Could you not set up Lizzie and beat them all? She, being here, 



need know nothing of it, so therefore there would be no indelicacy 
on her part. — 

Yours, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Mr. Stuai»t Brown, Springfield, 111.) 

The originals of the telegrams and letters which follow are in the 
collection of telegrams sent by the War Department during the 
Civil War, unless otherwise noted. A few of them appear in the 
official War Kecords, but none of them are to be found in the Com- 
plete Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Nicolay and Hay, and 
the most of them have never before been printed. The telegrams 
have been compared with the originals by the Kecord and Pension 

Washington, May 22, 1861. 
Governor E. D. Morgan, Albany, N. Y. : 

I wish to see you face to face to clear these difficulties about for- 
warding troops from New York. 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington, May 27, 1861. 
Col. W. A. Bartlett, New York: 

The Naval Brigade was to go to Fort Monroe without trouble to 
the Government, and must so go or not at all. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, June 13, 1861. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My Dear Sir: There is, it seems, a regiment in Massachusetts 
commanded by Fletcher Webster, and which Hon. Daniel Web- 
ster's old friends very much wish to get into the service. If it 
can be received with the approval of your Department and the 
consent of the Governor of Massachusetts I shall indeed be much 
gratified. Give Mr. Ashman a chance to explain fully. 

Yours, truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
(From War Kecords, Vol. I., Series III.) 

Executive Mansion, June 13, 1861. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My Dear Sir : I think it is entirely safe to accept a fifth regi- 
ment from Michigan, and with your approbation I should say a 
regiment presented by Col. T. B. W. Stockton, ready for service 


within two weeks from now, will be received. Look at Colonel 
Stockton's testimonials. Yours, truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(From War Kecords, Vol. I., Series III.) 

Executive Mansion, June 17, 1861. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My Dear Sir : With your concurrence, and that of the Governor 
of Indiana I am in favor of accepting into what we call the three 
years' service any number not exceeding four additional regi- 
ments from that State. Probably they should come from the tri- 
angular region between the Ohio and Wabash Rivers, including 
my own old boyhood home. Please see Hon. C. M. Allen, Speaker 
of the Indiana House of Representatives, and unless you perceive 
good reasons to the contrary, draw up an order for him according 
to the above. Yours, truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(From War Records, Vol. I., Series III.) 

Executive Mansion, June 17, 1861. 
Ht>N. Secretary of War. 

My Dear Sir: With your concurrence, and that of the Gov- 
ernor of Ohio, I am in favor of receiving into what we call the 
three years' service any number not exceeding six additional regi- 
ments from that State, unless you perceive good reasons to the 
contrary. Please see Hon. John A. Gurley, who bears this, and 
make an order corresponding with the above. 

Yours, truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(From War Records, Vol. I., Series III.) 

New York, June 17, 1861. 
His Excellency the President. 

Dear Sir: The Hon. Robert Dale Owen is authorized to pre- 
sent for your consideration our cavalry regiment being now raised 
upon the border. It will be composed of the best material both 
in men and horses. Mr. Owen will present to you the peculiar 
claims and condition of the border, differing from the border of 
any other State. I trust Your Excellency may find it consistent 
with your views and the public interest to accept of this regiment. 

Very respectfully, 

0. P. Morton, 



June 22, 1861. 

If agreeable to the Secretary of War, I approve the receiving one 
of the regiments already accepted from Indiana, organized and 
equipped as a cavalry regiment. A. Lincoln. 

(From War Records, Vol. I., Series III.) 

Executive Mansion, June 29, 1861. 

Gentlemen of the Kentucky Delegation who are for the Union: 

I somewhat wish to authorize my friend, Jesse Bayles, to raise 
a Kentucky regiment, but I do not wish to do it without your con- 
sent. If you consent, please write so at the bottom of this. 

Yours, truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
We consent. 

R. Mallory. 
H. Grider. 
G. W. Dunlap. 
J. S. Jackson. 
C. A. Wickliffe. 

August 5, 1861. 

I repeat, I would like for Col. Bayles to raise a regiment of cav 
airy whenever the Union men of Kentucky desire or consent to it. 

A. Lincoln. 
(From War Records, Vol. I., Series III.) 

Secretary of Xnterior, Washington, D. C. 

Executive Mansion, July 6, 1861. 
Hon. Sec of Interior, 

My Dear Sir : Please ask the Comr. of Indian Affairs, and of the 
Gen'l Land Office to come with you, and see me at once. I want 
the assistance of all of you in overhauling the list of appoint- 
ments a little before I send them to the Senate. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Werter G. Betty, Norwood, Ohio«J< 

Washington, D. C, July 24, 1861. 

The Governor of New Jersey. 

Sir: Together with the regiments of three years' volunteers 
which the Government already has in service in your State, enough 
to make eight in all, if tendered in a reasonable time, will be 
accepted, the new regiments to be taken as far as convenient, from 


the three months' men and officers just discharged, and to be or- 
ganized, equipped, and sent forward as fast as single regiments 
are ready, on the same terms as were those already in the service 
from that State. Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 


This order is entered in the War Department, and the Governor 
of New Jersey is authorized to furnish the regiments with wagons 
and horses. S. Cameron, 

Secretary of War. 

(From War Records, Vol. I., Series III.) 

Hon. James Pollock. 

Washington, Aug. 15, 1861. 
Hon. James Pollock, 

My Dear Sir: You must make a job for the bearer of this — 
make a job of it with the collector and have it done. You can do 
it for me and you must Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 
(Original owned by Chas. Roberts, Esq., Philadelphia, Pa.) 

Executive Mansion, October 4, 1861. 

Honorable Secretary of State. 

My Dear Sir: Please see Mr. Walker, well vouched as a Union 
man and son-in-law of Governor Morehead, and pleading for his 
release. I understand the Kentucky arrests were not made by spe- 
cial direction from here and I am willing if you are that any of 
the parties may be released when James Guthrie and James Speed 
think they should be. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(From War Records, Vol. II., Series III.) 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, Dec. 31, 1861. 
Ma jor-General Hunter : 

Dear Sir: Yours of the 23d is received, and I am constrained 
to say it is difficult to answer so ugly a letter in good temper. I 
am, as you intimate, losing much of the great confidence I placed 
in you, not from any act or omission of yours touching the public 
service, up to the time you were sent to Leavenworth, but from the 
flood of grumbling despatches and letters I have seen from you 
since. I knew you were being ordered to Leavenworth at the time 
it was done ; and I aver that with as tender a regard for your honor 



and your sensibilities as I had for my own, it never occurred to 
me that you were being " humiliated, insulted and disgraced ; " 
nor have I, up to this day, heard an intimation that you have been 
wronged, coming from any one but yourself — No one has blamed 
you for the retrograde movement from Springfield, nor for the in- 
formation you gave General Cameron; and this you could readily 
understand, if it were not for your unwarranted assumption that 
the ordering you to Leavenworth must necessarily have been done 
as a punishment for some fault. I thought then, and think yet, the 
position assigned to you is as responsible, and as honorable, as that 
assigned to Buell — I know that General McClellan expected more 
important results from it. My impression is that at the time you 
were assigned to the new Western Department, it had not been 
determined to replace General Sherman in Kentucky; but of this 
I am not certain, because the idea that a command in Kentucky 
was very desirable, and one in the farther West undesirable, had 
never occurred to me — You constantly speak of being placed in 
command of only 3,000 — Now tell me, is this not mere impatience ? 
Have you not known all the while that you are to command four 
or five times that many ? 

I have been, and am sincerely your friend ; and if, as such, I dare 
to make a suggestion, I would say you are adopting the best possi« 
ble way to ruin yourself. " Act well your part, there all the honor 
lies." He who does something at the head of one Regiment, will 
eclipse him who does nothing at the head of a hundred. 

Your friend, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

On the outside of the envelope in which this letter was found, 
General Hunter had written : 

The President's reply to my " ugly letter." This lay on his table 
a month after it was written, and when finally sent was by a special 
conveyance, with the direction that it was only to be given to me 
when I was in a good humor. 

(Original owned by War Records Commission.) 

Department of State, Washington, 

January 20, 1862. 

Major-General George B. McClellan, Commanding Armies of 
the United States: 

You or any officer you may designate will in your discretion sus- 
pend the writ of habeas corpus so far as may relate to Major Chase, 
lately of the Engineer Corps of the Army of the United States, 
now alleged to be guilty of treasonable practices against this 
Government. Abraham Lincoln. 

By the President, 

William H. Seward. 

(From War Records, Vol. II. , Serie* III.) 


Washington, April 3, 1862. 

Major-General Halleck, Saint Louis, Mo. : 

Your dispatch in regard to Colonel Barrett's regiment is re- 
ceived. Use your own judgment in the matter. A. Lincoln. 

Please send above by order of the President. John Hay, 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 9, 1862. 

Major-General Halleck, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

If the rigor of the confinement of Magoffin at Alton is endanger- 
ing his life, or materially impairing his health, I wish it mitigated 
as far as it can be consistently with his safe detention. 

A. Lincoln. 

Please send above by order of the President. John Hay. 

Postmaster General, Washington, D. C. 

Executive Mansion, Washington, April 24, 1862. 

Hon. Postmaster General. 

My Dear Sir: The Member of Congress from the District in- 
cluding Tiffin, O., calls on me about the Post-Master at that place. 
I believe I turned over a despatch to you from some persons there, 
asking a suspension, so as for them to be heard, or something of 
the sort. If nothing, or nothing amounting to anything, has been 
done, I think the suspension might now be suspended, and the 
commission go forward. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Hist. Dept. of Iowa. Loaned by Hon. Chas. 
Aldrich, curator, Des Moines, Iowa.) 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 29, 1862. 
Major-General MoClellan : 

Would it derange or embarrass your operations if I were to 
appoint Captain Charles Griffin, a brigadier-general of volun- 
teers? Please answer. A. Lincoln. 


Soldiers of the Twelfth Indiana Regiment: It has not been 
customary heretofore, nor will it be hereafter, for me to say some- 
thing to every regiment passing in review. It occurs too frequently 
for me to have speeches ready on all occasion* is you have paid 



such a mark of respect to the Chief Magistrate, it appears that I 
should say a word or two in reply. 

Your Colonel has thought fit, on his own account and in your 
name, to say that you are satisfied with the manner in which I 
have performed my part in the difficulties which have surrounded 
the nation. For your kind expressions I am extremely grateful, 
but, on the other hand, I assure you that the nation is more in- 
debted to you, and such as you, than to me. It is upon the brave 
hearts and strong arms of the people of the country that our re- 
liance has been placed in support of free government and free 

For the part which you and the brave army of which you ara 
a part have, under Providence, performed in this great struggle, 
I tender more thanks — greatest thanks that can be possibly due — 
and especially to this regiment, which has been the subject of 
good report. The thanks of the nation will follow you, and may 
God's blessing rest upon you now and forever. I hope that upon 
your return to your homes you will find your friends and loved 
ones well and happy. I bid you farewell. 

(From New York " Evening Post," May 15, 1862.) 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington City, D. C, June 5, 1862—9 1-2 p. m. 

Major-General Halleck: 

I have received the following dispatch from General McClellan 
which I transmit for your consideration. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, June 7, 1862. 
Major-General McClellan : 

Your dispatch about Chattanooga and Dalton was duly received 
and sent to General Halleck. I have just received the following 
answer from him. We have Fort Pillow, Kandolph and Memphis. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, June 28, 1862. 

Governor O. P. Morton, Indianapolis, Ind.: 

Your dispatch of to-day is just received. I have no recollection 
of either John R. Cravens, or Cyrus M. Allen, having been named 
to me for appointment under the tax law. The latter particularly 
has been my friend, and I am sorry to learn that he is not yours. 
No appointment has been or will be made by me for the purpose 
of stabbing you, A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
Washington City, D. C, July 3, 1862. 

Major-General Dix, Fort Monroe: 

What news if any have you from General Burnside ? 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C., July 28, 1862. 

Governors of all Loyal States: 

It would be of great service here for us to know, as fully as you 
can tell, what progress is made and making in recruiting for old 
regiments in your State. Also about what day the first regiment 
can move with you, what the second, what the third and so on? 
This information is important to us in making calculations. Please 
give it as promptly and accurately as you can. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, August 12, 1862. 

Governor Curtin, Harrisburg, Penn.: 

It is very important for some regiments to arrive here at once. 
What lack you from us? What can we do to expedite matters? 
Answer. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. O, August 14, 1862. 

Officer in charge of Confederate prisoners at Camp Chase, Ohio ; 

It is believed that a Dr. J. J. Williams is a prisoner in your 
charge, and if so tell him his wife is here and allow him to tele- 
graph to her. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 15, 1862. 

Hon. James Dixon, Hartford, Conn.: 
Come here. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 15, 1862. 

Officer having prisoners in charge at Camp Douglass, near Chi- 
cago, HI.: 
Is there a prisoner Dr. Joseph J. Williams ? and if so tell him his 
«£e is here and allow him to telegraph her. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 16, 1862. 

Hon. Hiram Barney, New York: 

Mrs. L. has $1,000 for the benefit of the hospitals and she will 
be obliged, and send the pay if you will be so good as to select 
and send her $200 worth of good lemons and $100 worth of good 
oranges. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 18, 1862. 
S. B. Moody, Springfield, 111.: 

Which do you prefer commissary or quartermaster ? If appointed 
it must be without conditions. A. Lincoln. 

Operator please send above for President. John Hay. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, August 20, 1862. 

Governor Andrew, Boston, Mass.: 

Neither the Secretary of War nor I know anything except what 
you tell us about the " published official document " you mention. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. 0., August 21, 1862. 

Mrs. Margaret Preston, Lexington, Ky.: 

Your dispatch to Mrs. L. received yesterday. She is not well. 
Owing to her early and strong friendship for you, I would gladly 
oblige you, but I cannot absolutely do it. If General Boyle and 
Hon. James Guthrie, one or both, in their discretion, see fit to 
give you the passes, this is my authority to them for doing so. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, August 21, 1862. 

Gillet E. Watson, Williamsburg, Va. : 

Your telegram in regard to the lunatic asylum has been re- 
ceived. It is certainly a case of difficulty, but if you cannot re- 
main, I cannot conceive who under my authority can. Remain as 
long as you safely can, and provide as well as you can for the 
poor inmates of the institution. 

A. Lincoln. 


August 27, 1862 — 4.30 p. m. 

Major-General Burnside, Falmouth, Va.: 
Do you hear anything from Pope ? A. Lincoln. 

August 28, 1862—2.40 p. m. 

Major-General Burnside, Falmouth, Va.: 
Any news from General Pope? A. Lincoln. 

August 28, 1862—2.40 p. m. 
Colonel Haupt, Alexandria, Va.: 

Yours received. How do you learn that the rebel forces at 
Manassas are large and commanded by several of their best gen- 
erals? A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, August 29, 1862—2.30 p. m. 

Major-General Burnside, Falmouth, Va.: 

Any further news? Does Colonel Devin mean that sound of 
firing was heard in direction of Warrenton as stated, or in direc- 
tion of Warrenton Junction? A. Lincoln. 

W\r Department, 
Washington, D. C, August 30, 1862—10.20 a. m. 

Colonel Haupt, Alexandria, Va.: 
What news? A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
August 30, 1862—3.50 p. m. 

Colonel Haupt, Alexandria, Va.: 
Please send me the latest news. A. Lincoln. 

August 30, 1862—8.35 p. m. 
Major-General Banks, Manassas Junction, Va.: 
Please tell me what news. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, September 17, 1862. 
Governor O. P. Morton, Indianapolis, Ind. : 

I have received your dispatch in regard to recommendations of 
General Wright. I have received no such dispatch from him, at 
least not that I can remember. I refer yours for General Hal- 
leck's consideration. A. Lincoln. 


Telegraph office please transmit as above and oblige the Presi« 
dent. John Hay. 

Executive Mansion, Washington, September 18, 1862. 

Honorable Secretary of War. 

Sir : The attached paper is said to contain a list of civilians im- 
prisoned at Salisbury, N. C. Please preserve it. 

Yours, truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
(From War Records, Vol. IV., Series III.) 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 20, 1862. 

General Ketchum, Springfield, 111.: 

How many regiments are there in Illinois, ready for service 
but for the want of arms? How many arms have you there ready 
for distribution? 

A. Lincoln. 

McClellan's Headquarters, October 3, 1862. 

Major-General Halleck. 

General Stuart, of the rebel army, has sent in a few of our 
prisoners und<3r a flag of truce, paroled with terms to prevent 
their fighting the Indians, and evidently seeking to commit us 
to their right to parole our prisoners in that way. My inclina- 
tion is to send the prisoners back with a distinct notice that we 
will recognize no paroles given to our prisoners by rebels as ex- 
tending beyond the prohibition against fighting them, yet I wish 
your opinion upon it based both upon the general law and our 
cartel. I wish to avoid violations of law and bad faith. Answer as 
quickly as possible, as the thing if done at all should be done at 
once. A. Lincoln, 


(From War Eecords, Vol. IV., Series III.) 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 7, 1862. 

Major-General McClellan, Headquarters Army of the Potomac: 

You wish to see your family and I wish to oblige you. It might 
be left to your own discretion, certainly so, if Mrs. M. could meet 
you here at Washington. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 9, 1862. 

Morton McMichael, Office " North American," Philadelphia, Pa. : 
The letter alluded to in your dispatch of yesterday has not been 
received. A. Lincoln. 

Operator please send above and oblige. A. L. 

Washington, D. C, October 12, 1862. 

Major-General Curtis, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

Would the completion of the railroad some distance further in 
the direction of Springfield, Mo., be of any military advantage to 
you? Please answer. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, D. C, October 16, 1862. 

Governor Pierpoint, Wheeling, Va. : 

Your dispatch of to-day received. I am very sorry to have of- 
fended you. I appointed the collector as I thought, on your writ- 
ten recommendation, and the assessor also with your testimony of 
worthiness, although I know you preferred a different man. I 
will examine to-morrow whether I am mistaken in this. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 21, 1862. 

General Jameson, Upper Stillwater, Me.: 

How is your health now ? Do you or not wish Lieut. R. P. Craw- 
ford to be restored to his office? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 23, 1862. 

Hon. F. H. Pierpoint, Wheeling, Va.: 

Your letter of the 17th just received. When you come to Wash- 
ington, I shall be pleased to show you the record upon which we 
acted. Nevertheless answer this, distinctly saying you wish Ross 
and Ritcher, or any other two you do really want and they shall be 
appointed. . A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 23, 1862. 
Ben. Field, Esq., Astor House: 

Your letter of 20th received. Think your request cannot safely 
be granted. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 29, 1862. 
Major-General McClellan: 

Your dispatches of night before last, yesterday, and last night 
all received. I am much pleased with the movement of the army. 
When you get entirely across the river let me know. What do you 
know of the enemy? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 30, 1S62. 
Governor Curtin, Harrisburg: 

By some means I have not seen your dispatch of the 27th about 
Order No. 154, till this moment. I now learn what I knew nothing 
of before, that the history of the order is as follows, to-wit: Gen- 
eral McClellan telegraphed asking General Halleck to have the 
order made, General Halleck went to the Secretary of War with 
it, stating his approval of the plan. The Secretary assented and 
General Halleck wrote the order. It was a military question which 
the Secretary supposed the generals understood better than he. 
I wish I could see Governor Curtin. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 5, 1862. 

Hon. M. F. Odell, Brooklyn, N. Y.: 

You are re-elected. I wish to see you at once. Will you come! 
Please answer. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 7, 1862. 

Col. W. W. Lowe, Fort Henry, Tenn.: 

Yours of yesterday received. (Governor Johnson, Mr. Ethridge 
and others are looking after the very thing you telegraph about. 

A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington City, D. C, November 14, 1862. 

Hon. F. P. Blair, Jr., Saint Louis, Mo. : 

Please telegraph me the result of the election in Missouri on 
Congress and Legislature. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, November 17, 1862. 

Robert A. Maxwell, Philadelphia, Pa.: 
Your dispatch of to-day received. I do not at all understand it. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 26, 1862, 

Hon. George Kobertson, Lexington, Ky.: 
I mail you a short letter to-day. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) Washington, November 30, 1862. 

Major-General Curtis, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

Frank Blair wants Manter's Thirty-second, Curly's Twenty- 
seventh, Boyd's Twenty-fourth and the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry 
to go with him down the river. I understand it is with you to 
decide whether he shall have them and if so, and if also it is con- 
sistent with the public service you will oblige me a good deal 
by letting him have them. A. Lincoln. 

Judge Advocate General, Washington, D. C. 

Executive Mansion, Washington, Dec. 1, 1862. 

Judge Advocate General. 

Sir: Three hundred Indians have been sentenced to death in 
Minnesota by a Military Commission, and execution only awaits 
my action. I wish your legal opinion whether if I should con- 
clude to execute only a part of them, I must myself designate which, 
or could I leave the designation to some officer on the ground ? 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original in Archives of Treasury Dept. Loaned by M. E. Ailes, 
Washington, D. C.) 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 7, 1862. 

Hon. H. J. Eaymond, Times Office, New York: 

Yours of November 25, reached me only yesterday. Thank you for 
it. I shall consider and remember your suggestions. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 7, 1862. 

Hon. B. Gratz Brown, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

Yours of the 3d received yesterday. Have already done what 
I can in the premises. A. Lincoln. 



Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 8, 1862. 

Governor Andrew Johnson, Nashville, Term.: 

Jesse H. Strickland is here asking authority to raise a regiment 
of Tennesseeans. Would you advise that the authority be given 
him ? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, Dec. 10, 1862. 
Hon. J. K. Dubois : 

My Dear Sir : In the summer of 1859 when Mr. Freeman visited 
Springfield, Illinois, in relation to the McCallister & Stebbin's 
bonds I promised him that, upon certain conditions, I would ask the 
members of the Legislature to give him a full and fair hearing of 
his case. I do not now remember, nor have I time to recall, exactly 
what the conditions were, nor whether they were completely per- 
formed ; but there can be, in no case, any harm in his having a full 
and fair hearing, and I sincerely wish it may be given him. 

Yours truly, A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by the Chicago Historical Society, Chicago, 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 14, 1862. 

Major-General Curtis, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

If my friend Dr. William Fithian, of Danville, HI., should call on- 
you, please give him such facilities as you consistently can about 
recovering the remains of a step-son and matters connected there- 
with. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 14, 1862. 

Hon. Simon Cameron, Harrisburg, Pa.: 

Please come to Washington so soon as you conveniently can. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department. 
John G. Nicola y, Headquarters: 
What news have you? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 16, 1862. 

Brig. Gen. H. H. Sibley, Saint Paul, Minn.: 

As you suggest let the executions fixed for Friday the 19th in* 
stant, be postponed to, and be done on Friday the 26th instant. 

A. Lincoln. 


Operator please send this very carefully and accurately. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 16, 1862. 

Major-General Curtis, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

N. W. Watkins, of Jackson, Mo., (who is half brother to Henry 
Clay) writes me that a colonel of ours has driven him from his 
home at Jackson. Will you please look into the case and restore 
the old man to his home if the public interest will admit ? 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, D. C, December 16, 1862. 

Major-General Burnside, Falmouth: 

Your dispatch about General Stahel is received. Please ascer- 
tain from General Sigel and his old corps whether Stahel or Schurz 
is preferable and telegraph the result and I will act immediately. 
After all I shall be governed by your preference. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
December 17, 1862. 

Abraham C. Corsey, of Seventh Illinois Volunteers, Grand Junc- 
tion, Miss.: 
Your dispatch of yesterday received. Not now. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 17, 1862. 
Major-General Curtis: 

Could the civil authority be reintroduced into Missouri in lieu 
of the military to any extent, with advantage and safety ? 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 17, 1862. 
Major-General Burnside : 

George Patten says he was a class-mate of yours and was in the 
same regiment of artillery. Have you a place you would like to 
put him in? and if so what is it? A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 18, 1862. 

Governor Gamble, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

It is represented to me that the enrolled militia alone would now 
maintain law and order in all the counties of your State north 
of the Missouri River. If so all other forces there might be re- 
moved south of the river, or out of the State. Please post your- 
self and give me your opinion upon the subject. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 19, 1862. 

Major-General Curtis, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

Hon. Hall, M. C, here tells me, and Governor Gamble tel- 
egraphs me that quiet can be maintained in all the counties north 
of the Missouri River by the enrolled militia. Confer with Gov- 
ernor Gamble and telegraph me. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, December 21, 1862. 
Mrs. A. Lincoln, Continental Hotel: 

Do not come on the night train. It is too cold. Come in the 
morning. A. Lincoln. 

Please send above and oblige the President. John Hay, 

A. P. S. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 27, 1862. 

Major-General Curtis, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

Let the order in regard to Dr. McPheters and family be sus- 
pended until you hear from me again. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
December 27, 1862. 
His Excellency Governor Gamble: 

I do not wish to leave the country north of the Missouri to the 
care of the enrolled militia except upon the concurrent judgment 
of yourself and General Curtis. His I have not yet obtained. 
Confer with him, and I shall be glad to act when you and he agree. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 31, 1862. 

Major-General Dix, Fort Monroe, Va. : 

I hear not a word about the Congressional election of which you 
and I corresponded. Time nearly up. A. Lincoln 


Private. Executive Mansion, 

Washington, December 31, 1862. 
Hon. H. J. Kaymond: 

The proclamation cannot be telegraphed to you until during the 
day to-morrow. Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Private. Executive Mansion, 

Washington, December 31, 1862. 
Hon. Horace Greeley: 

The proclamation cannot be telegraphed to you until during the 
day to-morrow. Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Caleb Russell. 
Sallie A. Fenton. 

Executive Mansion, Washington, January 5, 1863. 

My Good Friends: 

The Honorable Senator Harlan has just placed in my hands 
your letter of the 27th of December, which I have read with pleas- 
ure and gratitude. 

It is most cheering and encouraging for me to know that in the 
efforts which I have made and am making for the restoration of 
a righteous peace to our country, I am upheld and sustained by the 
good wishes and prayers cf God's people. No one is more deeply 
than myself aware that without His favor our highest wisdom is 
but as foolishness and that our most strenuous efforts would avail 
nothing in the shadow of His displeasure. 

I am conscious of no desire for my country's welfare that is 
not in consonance with His will, and of no plan upon which we may 
not ask His blessing. It seems to me that if there be one sub- 
ject upon which all good men may unitedly agree, it is imploring 
the gracious favor of the God of Nations upon the struggles our 
people are making for the preservation of their precious birth- 
right of civil and religious liberty. 

Very truly your friend, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Mr. John Dugdale, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.) 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, January 7, 1863. 

Ma jor-General Dix, Fort Monroe, Va. : 

Do Richmond papers of 6th say nothing about Vicksburg or if 
anything, what? A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 23, 1863. 
General Burnside: 
Will see you any moment when you come. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 28, 1863. 

Major-General Butler, Lowell, Mass : 

Please come here immediately. Telegraph me about what time 
you will arrive. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, D. C., January 29, 1863. 

Major-General Dix, Fort Monroe, Va. : 

Do Richmond papers have anything from Vicksburg? 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, D. C, January 30, 1863. 

Major-General Dix, Fort Monroe, Ya. : 

What iron-clads if any have gone out of Hampton Roads within 
the last two days? A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, D. C, January 31, 1863. 

Major-General Dix, Fort Monroe, Va. : 

Corcoran's and Pryor's battle terminated. Have you any news 
through Richmond papers or otherwise ? A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, D. C, January 31, 1863. 

Major-General Schenck, Baltimore, Md.: 

I do not take jurisdiction of the pass question. Exercise your 
own discretion as to whether Judge Pettis shall have a pass. 

A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, February 1, 1863. 

Governor O. P. Morton, Indianapolis, Ind. : 

I think it would not do for me to meet you at Harrisburg. It 
would be known and would be misconstrued a thousand ways. Of 
course if the whole truth could be told and accepted as truth, it 
would do no harm, but that is impossible. A. Lincoln. 



War Department, 
Washington, D. C, February 4, 1863. 

Major-General Schenck, Baltimore, Md.: 

I hear of some difficulty in the streets of Baltimore yesterday* 
What is the amount of it? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 13, 1863. 

Hon. Simon Cameron, Harrisburg, Pa. : 

General Clay is here and I suppose the matter we spoke of will 
have to be definitely settled now. Please answer. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, February 19, 1863. 

William H. Herndon, Springfield, HI. : 

Would you accept a job of about a months duration at Saint 
Louis, $5 a day and mileage ? Answer. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, February 26, 1863. 

Hon. J. K Dubois, Springfield, 111. : 

General Rosecrans respectedly urges the appointment of William 
P. Caslin as a brigadier-general. What say you now? 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 27, 1863. 

Alfred Russell, Charles Dickey, Detroit, Mich.: 

The bill you mention in your dispatch of yesterday was ap- 
proved and signed on the 24th of this month. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 27, 1863. 
Major-General Hooker : 

If it will be no detriment to the service I will be obliged for 
Capt. Henry A. Marchant, of Company I, Twenty-third Pennsyl- 
vania Volunteers, to come here and remain four or five days. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. 0., March 5, 1863. 

Major-General Hooker, Commanding Army of the Potomac : 

For business purposes I have extended the leave of absence of 
Capt. Henry A. Marchant, Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, 
five days, hoping that it will not interfere with the public service. 
Please notify the regiment to-day. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 9, 1863. 

Governor David Tod, Columbus, Ohio : 

I think your advice with that of others would be valuable in the 
selection of provost-marshals for Ohio. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 13, 1863. 
Major-General Hooker: 

General Stahel wishes to be assigned to General Heintzelman 
and General Heintzelman also desires it. I would like to oblige 
both if it would not injure the service in your army, or incommode 
you. What say you? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 16, 1863. 
Hon. J. O. Morton, Joliet, HI. : 

William Chumasero is proposed for provost-marshal of your dis- 
trict. What think you of it ? I understand he is a good man. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 17, 1863. 

Major-General Rosecrans, Murfreesborough, Tenn.: 

Your telegram of yesterday just received. I write you more 
fully than I could communicate by the wires. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 25, 1863. 

Mr. Benjamin Gratz, Lexington, Ky. : 

Show this to whom it may concern as your authority for allowing 
Mrs. Shelby to remain at your house, so long as you choose to be 
responsible for what she may do. A, Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 25, 186b. 

Major-General Rosecrans, Murfreesborough, Tenn.: 

Your dispatches about General Davis and General Mitchell are 
received. General Davis' case is not particular, being simply one 
of a great many recommended and not nominated, because they 
would transcend the number allowed by law. General Mitchell 
nominated and rejected by the Senate and I do not think it proper 
for me to re-nominate him without a change of circumstances such 
as the performance of additional service, or an expressed change of 
purpose on the part of at least some Senators who opposed him. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 3, 1863. 

Governor A. G. Curtin, Harrisburg, Pa. : 
After next Tuesday the President will be here. 

John G. Nicolay. 

Colonel Sanford: 
Please send above telegram. Yours, 

Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 3, 1863. 
Major-General Hooker: 

Our plan is to pass Saturday night on the boat, go over from 
Acquia Creek to your camp Sunday morning, remain with you till 
Tuesday morning and then return. Our party will probably not 
exceed six persons of all sorts. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 11, 1863. 

Officer in Command at Nashville, Tenn.: 

Is there a soldier by the name of John R. Minnick of Wynkoop's 
cavalry under sentence of death, by a court martial or military 
commission, in Nashville? And if so what was his offense, and 
when is he to be executed? 

A. Lincoln. 

If necessary let the execution be staid till I can be heard from 
again. A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
Washington City, April 23, 1863. 

Hon. Simon Cameron, Harrisburg, Pa.: 

Telegraph me the name of your candidate for West Point. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, April 23, 1863. 

Hon. S. P. Chase, Philadelphia, Pa.: 
Telegraph me the name of your candidate for West Point. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 29, 1863. 

Hon. W. A. Newell, Allentown, N. J. : 

I have some trouble about provost-marshal in your first dis- 
trict. Please procure Hon. Mr. Starr to come with you and see 
me, or come to an agreement with him and telegraph me the result. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 4, 1863. 

Major-General Burnside, Cincinnati, Ohio: 

Our friend General Sigel claims that you owe him a letter. If 
you so remember please write him at once. He is here. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 5, 1863. 

Hon. O. M. Hatch, Springfield, HI.: 

Your dispatch of March 9th recommending provost-marshals, 
reads 9th District Benj. F. Weist, Pittsfield, 111. Should it not 
be Benj. P. Westlake? Answer. Jno. G. Nicolay. 

War Department, 
Washington City, May 11, 1863. 
Major-General Dix: 

Do the Richmond papers have anything about Grand Gulf or 
Vicksburg ? A. Lincoln. 


(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington City, May 11, 1863. 

Major-General Butterfield : 

About what distance is it from the observatory we stopped at 
last Thursday, to the line of enemies works you ranged the glass 
upon for me? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 12, 1863. 

Governor Seymour, Albany, N. Y.: 

Dr. Swinburne and Mr. Gillett are here having been refused, 
as they say, by the War Department, permission to go to the Army 
of the Potomac. They now appeal to me saying you wish them 
to go. I suppose they have been excluded by a rule which expe- 
rience has induced the department to deem proper, still they shall 
have leave to go, if you say you desire it. Please answer. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 13, 1863. 

Dr. A. G. Henry, Metropolitan Hotel, New York: 

Governor Chase's feelings were hurt by my action in his ab- 
sence. Smith is removed, but Governor Chase wishes to name his 
successor, and asks a day or two to make the designation. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, May 16, 1863. 

Hon. James Guthrie, Louisville, Ky.: 

Your dispatch of to-day is received. I personally know nothing 
of Colonel Churchill, but months ago and more than once he has 
been represented to me as exerting a mischievous influence at 
Saint Louis, for which reason I am unwilling to force his con- 
tinuance there against the judgment of our friends on the ground, 
but if it will oblige you, he may come to, and remain at Louisville 
upon taking the oath of allegiance, and your pledge for his good 
behavior. A. Lincoln. 

Secretary of War, Washington, D. C. 

War Department, Washington City, May 16, 1863. 

Hon. Secretary of War. 

My Dear Sir : The commander of the Department at St. Louis 
has ordered several persons south of our military lines, which order 



is not disapproved by me. Yet at the special request of Hon. James 
Guthrie I have consented to one of the number, Samuel Churchill, 
remaining at Louisville, Ky., upon condition of his taking the 
oath of allegiance and Mr. Guthrie's word of honor for his good 
behavior. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
(Original owned by 0. F. Gunther, Chicago, 111.) 

War Department, 
Washington City, May 21, 1863, 

Major-General Burnside, Cincinnati, Ohio: 

In the case of Thomas M. Campbell, convicted as a spy, let ex- 
ecution of the sentence be respited until further order from me, 
he remaining in custody meanwhile. A. Lincoln. 

Major-General Burnside: 

Please acknowledge receipt of above telegram and time of de- 
livery. Tho. T. Eckert. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 22, 1863. 

General Quinot A. Gilmore, New York City: 

The President of the United States desires that you shall come 
here to see him on your way to Kentucky. 

Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, May 24, 1863—10.40 p. m. 

Anson Stager, Cleveland, Ohio: 

Late last night Fuller telegraphed you, as you say, that "the 
stars and stripes float over Vicksburg and the victory is com- 
plete." Did he know what he said, or did he say it without know- 
ing it? Your dispatch of this afternoon throws doubt upon it. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 25, 1863. 

Colonel Haggard, Nashville, Tenn.: 

Your dispatch to Green Adams had just been shown to me. Gen- 
eral Rosecrans knows better than we can know here, who should 
be in charge of the Fifth Cavalry. A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
Washington, D. C, May 26, 1863. 

Major-General Burnside, Cincinnati, Ohio: 

Your dispatch about Campbell, Lyle and others received and 
postponement ordered by you approved. I will consider and tele* 
graph you again in a few days. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 27, 1863. 

Major-General Schenck, Baltimore, Md.: 

Let the execution of William B. Compton be respited or sus- 
pended till further order from me, holding him in safe custody 
meanwhile. On receiving this notify me. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 27, 1863. 

Governor Buckingham, Hartford, Conn. : 

The execution of Warren Whitemarch is hereby respited or sus- 
pended until further order from me, he to be held in safe custody 
meanwhile. On receiving this notify me. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 28, 1863. 

Hon. Erastus Corning, Albany, N. Y.: 

The letter of yourself and others dated the 19th and inclosing 
the resolutions of a public meeting held at Albany on the 16th 
was received night before last. I shall give the resolutions the 
consideration you ask, and shall try to find time and make a re- 
spectful response. Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) Executive Mansion, 

Washington, June 1, 1863. 
Colonel Ludlow, Fort Monroe: 

Richardson and Brown, correspondents of the Tribune captured 
at Vicksburg, are detained at Richmond. Please ascertain why 
they are detained, and get them off if you can. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, June 2, 1863. 
Major-General Hooker: 

It is said that Philip Margraf, in your army, is under sentence 
to be shot on Friday the 5th instant as a deserter. If so please 
send me up the record of his case at once. A. Lincoln. 


(Cypher) Executive Mansion, 

Washington, June 4, 1863. 
Major-General Hooker: 

Let execution of sentences in the cases of Daily, Margraff and 
Harrington, be respited till further order from me, they remain' 
ing in close custody meanwhile. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, June 4, 1863. 

Ma jor-General Butterfield : 

The news you send me from the Richmond Sentinel of the 3d 
must be greatly if not wholly incorrect. The Thursday mentioned 
was the 28th, and we have dispatches here directly from Vicksburg 
of the 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st, and while they speak of the siege 
progressing, they speak of no assault or general fighting what- 
ever, and in fact they so speak as to almost exclude the idea that 
there can have been any since Monday the 25th, which was not 
very heavy. Neither do they mention any demand made by Grant 
upon Pemberton for a surrender. They speak of our troops as 
being in good health, condition and spirits. Some of them do say 
that Banks has Port Hudson invested. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, June 5, 1863. 
Major-General Hooker: 

Would you like to have Capt. Treadwell Moore, now in Cali- 
fornia, to report to you for duty? A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, June 6, 1863. 

Mrs. Elizabeth J. Grimsley, Springfield, HI.: 

Is your John ready to enter the Naval school? If he is tele- 
graph me his full name. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C., June 6, 1863. 

Major-General Dix, Fort Monroe, Va.: 

By noticing the news you send from the Richmond Dispatch 
of this morning you will see one of the very latest dispatches says 
they have nothing reliable from Vicksburg since Sunday. Now 
we here have a dispatch from there of Sunday and others of almost 
3very day preceding since the investment, and while they show 
the siege progressing they do not show any general fighting since 
the 21st and 22d. We have nothing from Port Hudson later than 
the 29th when things looked reasonably well for us. I have thought 
this might be of some interest to you. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, June 8, 1863. 
Major-General Dix, Fort Monroe : 

We have dispatches from Vicksburg of the 3d. Siege progress* 
ing. No general fighting recently. All well. Nothing new from 
Port Hudson. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, June 8, 1863. 

Major-General Dix, Fort Monroe : 

The substance of the news sent of fight at Port Hudson on the 
27th we have had here three or four days, and I supposed you 
had it also, when I said this morning, " No news from Port Hud- 
son." We knew that General Sherman was wounded, but we 
hoped not so dangerously as your dispatch represents. We still 
have nothing of that Richmond newspaper story of Kirby Smith 
crossing and of Banks losing an arm. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, June 9, 1863. 
Hon. John P. Hale, Dover, N. H.: 

I believe that it was upon your recommendation that B. B. 
Bunker was appointed attorney for Nevada Territory. I am 
pressed to remove him on the ground that he does not attend to 
the oflice, nor in fact pass much time in the Territory. Do you 
wish to say anything on the subject? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, June 9, 1863. 
Mrs. Lincoln, Philadelphia, Pa.: 

Think you had better put " Tad's " pistol away. I had an ugly 
dream about him. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, June 9, 1863. 
Major-General Hooker: 

I am told there are 50 incendiary shells here at the arsenal 
made to fit the 100-pounder Parrott gun now with you. If this be 
true would you like to have the shells sent to you? 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, June 11, 1863. 
Mrs. Lincoln, Philadelphia: 

Your three dispatches received. I am very well and am glad 
to know that you and "Tad" are so, A. Lincoln. 


(Cypher) Executive Mansion, 

Washington, June 12, 1863. 
Major-General Hooker: 

If you can show me a trial of the Incendiary shells on Saturday 
night I will try to join you at 5 p. m. that day. Answer. 

A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) Executive Mansion, 

Washington, June 13, 1863. 
Major-General Hooker: 

I was coming down this afternoon, but if yov would prefer I 
should not, I shall blame you if you do not tell me so. 

A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, June 14, 1863. 

General Tyler, Martinsburg: 

Is Molroy invested, so that he cannot fall back to Harper's 
Ferry? A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, June 14, 1863. 
General Tyler, Martinsburg: 

If you are besieged how do you dispatch me? Why did you not 
leave before being besieged? A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, June 14, 1863. 

Major-General Kelley, Harper's Ferry: 

Are the forces at Winchester and Martinsburg making any effort 
to get to you? A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 

June 15, 1863. 
Mrs. Lincoln, Philadelphia, Pa.: 

Tolerably well. Have not rode out much yet, but have at last 
got new tires on the carriage wheels and perhaps shall ride out 
soon. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, June 16, 1863—5.35 p. m. 

General Tyler, Harper's Ferry: 

Please answer as soon as you can the following inquiries which 
General Hooker makes. A. Lincoln. 



War Department, 
Washington, D. C, June 16, 1863. 

Horrace Binney, Jr., Philadelphia i 

I sent General Cadwallader some hours ago to the Secretary of 
War, and general-in-chief with the question you ask. I have not 
heard the result. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, June 16, 1863. 

Frederick Kapp and Others, New York: 

The Governor of New York promises to send us troops and if 
he wishes the assistance of General Fremont and General Sigel, 
one or both, he can have it. If he does not wish them it would but 
breed confusion for us to set them to work independently of him. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. 0., June 16, 1863. 

General T. Francis Meagher, New York: 

Your dispatch received. Shall be very glad for you to raise 
3,000 Irish troops if done by the consent of, and in concert with 
Governor Seymour. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, D. C, June 16, 1863. 

Mrs. Lincoln, Philadelphia: 

It is a matter of choice with yourself whether you come home. 
There is no reason why you should not, that did not exist when 
you went away. As bearing on the question of your coming home, 
I do not think the raid into Pennsylvania amounts to anything at 
all. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, June 16, 1863. 

Col. William S. Bliss, New York Hotel: 

Your dispatch asking whether I will accept "the Loyal Bri- 
gade of the North" is received. I never heard of that brigade 
by name and do not know where it is, yet presuming it is in New 
York, I say I will gladly accept it, if tendered by and with the 
consent and approbation of the Governor of that State. Other- 
wise not. A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
Washington, D. C, June 17, 1863. 
Major-General Hooker: 

Mr. Eckert, superintendent in the telegraph office, assures me 
that he has sent, and will send you everything that conies to the 
office. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, June 18, 1863. 

Joshua Tevis, Esq., U. S. Attorney, Frankfort, Ky.: 

A Mr. Buckner is here showing a record and asking to be dis- 
charged from a suit in San Francisco, as bail for one Thompson. 
Unless the record shown me is defectively made out I think it 
can be successfully defended against. Please examine the case 
carefully, and if you shall be of opinion it cannot be sustained, 
dismiss it and relieve me from all trouble about it. Please answer. 

A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) Executive Mansion, 

Washington, June 18, 1863. 

Governor D. Tod, Columbus, Ohio: 

Yours received. I deeply regret that you were not renominated, 
not that I have aught against Mr. Brough. On the contrary like 
yourself, I say hurrah for him. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, June 18, 1863. 

General A. Dingman, Belleville, C. W. : 

Thanks for your offer of the Fifteenth Battalion. I do not 
think Washington is in danger. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, June 21, 1863. 

General Schofield, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

I write you to-day in answer to your dispatch of yesterday. If 
you cannot await the arrival by mail telegraph me again. 

A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, June 23, 186& 

Major Van Vliet, New York : 

Have you any idea what the news is in the dispatch of General 
Banks to General Halleck? A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 

June 24, 186d. 
Major-General Couch, Harrisburg, Pa.: 

Have you any reports of the enemy moving into Pennsylvania I 
And if any what? A. Lincoln. 

Washington, June 24, 1863. 
Major-General Dix, Yorktown, Va.: 

We have a dispatch from General Grant of the 19th. Don't think 
Kirby Smith took Milliken's Bend since, allowing time to get the 
news to Joe Johnston and from him to Richmond. But it is not 
absolutely impossible. Also have news from Banks to the 16th, 
I think. He had not run away then, nor thought of it. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, June 25, 1863. 

General Peck, Suffolk, Va.: 

Colonel Derrom, of the Twenty-fifth New Jersey Volunteers, 
now mustered out, says there is a man in your hands under con- 
viction for desertion, who formerly belonged to the above named 
regiment, and whose name is Templeton, Isaac F. Templeton, I 
believe. The colonel and others appeal to me for him. Please 
telegraph to me what is the condition of the case, and if he has 
not been executed send me the record of the trial and conviction. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, June 25, 1863. 

Major-General Slocum, Leesburg, Va. : 

Was William Gruvier, Company A, Forty-sixth Pennsylvania, 
one of the men executed as a deserter last Friday? 

A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) Washington, June 26, 1863. 

Major-General Burnside, Cincinnati, Ohio: 
What is the case of " William Waller," at Maysville, Ky. ? 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, June 27, 1863 — 8 a. m. 

Major-General Hooker: 

It did not come from the newspapers, nor did I believe it but 
I wished to be entirely sure it was a falsehood. A. Lincoln. 



Executive Mansion, 
Washington, June 28, 1863. 

Major-General Burnside, Cincinnati, Ohio: 

There is nothing going on in Kentucky on the subject of which 
you telegraph, except an enrollment. Before anything is done be- 
yond this, I will take care to understand the case better than I 
now do. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, June 28, 1863. 

Governor J. T. Boyle, Cincinnati, Ohio: 

There is nothing going on in Kentucky on the subject of which 
you telegraph, except an enrollment. Before anything is done 
beyond this, I will take care to understand the case better than 
I now do. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, June 28, 1863. 

Major-General Schenck, Baltimore, Md.: 

Every place in the Naval school subject to my appointment is 
full and I have one unredeemed promise of more than half a year's 
standing. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, June 30, 1863. 

Governor Parker, Trenton, N. J.: 

Your dispatch of yesterday received. I really think the alti- 
tude of the enemies army in Pennsylvania presents us the best 
opportunity we have had since the war began. I think you will 
not see the foe in New Jersey. I beg you to be assured that no 
one out of my position can know so well as if he were in it, the 
difficulties and involvments of replacing General McClellan in 
command, and this aside from any imputations upon him. Please 
accept my sincere thanks for what you have done and are doing 
to get troops forward. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, June 30, 1863. 

A. K McClure, Philadelphia : 

Do we gain anything by opening one leak to stop another? Do 
we gain anything by quieting one clamor merely to open another, 
and probably a larger one? A. Lincoln. 



Washington City, June 30, 1863—3.25 p. m. 

Major-General Couch, Harrisburc, Pa.: 

I judge by absence of news that the enemy is not crossing or 
pressing up to the Susquehanna. Please tell me what you know 
of his movements. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, July 3, 1863. 

Major-General Burnside, Cincinnati, Ohio: 

Private Downey, of the Twentieth or Twenty-sixth Kentucky 
Infantry, is said to have been sentenced to be shot for desertion 
to-day. If so, respite the execution until I can see the record. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, July 3, 1863. 

Kobert T. Lincoln, Esq., Cambridge, Mass. : 

Don't be uneasy. Your Mother very slightly hurt by her fall. 

A. L. 
Please send at once. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, July 5, 1863. 

Major-General French, Frederick Town, Md. : 

I see your dispatch about destruction of pontoons. Cannot the 
enemy ford the river? A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, July 7, 1863. 

J. K Dubois and Others, Springfield, 111. : 

An appointment of Chesley at Danville had already been made 
and gone forward for enrollment commissioner of Seventh Dis- 
trict when your dispatch arrived. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, July 8, 1863. 

E. Delafield Smith, New York: 

Your kind dispatch on behalf of self and friends is gratefully 
received. Capture of Vicksburg confirmed by dispatch from Gen- 
eral Grant himself. A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
Washington, D. C, July 8, 1863. 

Hon. F. F. Low, San Francisco, Cal.: 

There is no doubt that General Meade, now commanding the 
Army of the Potomac, beat Lee at Gettysburg, Pa., at the end 
of a three days' battle, and that the latter is now crossing the 
Potomac at Williamsport over the swollen stream and with poor 
means of crossing, and closely pressed by Meade. We also have 
dispatches rendering it entirely certain that Vicksburg surrendered 
to General Grant on the glorious old 4th. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington City, D. C, July 9, 1863. 

Hon. Leonard Swett, Hon. F. F. Low, San Francisco, Cal. : 

Consult together and do not have a riot, or great difficulty about 
delivering possession. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington City, July 11, 1863. 

Major-General Schenck, Baltimore, Md.: 

How many rebel prisoners captured within Maryland and Penn- 
sylvania have reached Baltimore within this month of July ? 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, July 11, 1863. 

R. T. Lincoln, New York, Fifth Avenue Hotel: 
Come to Washington. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, July 12, 1863. 

Major-General Schenck, Baltimore, Md. : 

You seem to misunderstand the nature of the objection to Gen- 
eral Tremble's going to Baltimore. His going there is opposed 
to prevent his meeting his traitorous associates there. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, July 14, 1863. 

Robert T. Lincoln, New York, Fifth Avenue Hotel: 

Why do I hear no more of you? A. Lincoln. 


(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington City, July 15, 1863. 

Hon. L. Swett, San Francisco, Cal. : 

Many persons are telegraphing me from California, begging me 
for the peace of the State to suspend the military enforcement 
of the writ of possession in the Almedan case, while you are the 
single one who urges the contrary. You know I would like to 
oblige you, but it seems to me my duty in this case is the other 
way. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington City, July 15, 1863. 

Hon. Simon Cameron, Harrisburg, Pa. : 

Your dispatch of yesterday received. Lee was already across 
the river when you sent it. I would give much to be relieved of 
the impression that Meade, Couch, Smith, and all since the battle 
at Gettysburg, have striven only to get Lee over the river without 
another fight. Please tell me, if you know, who was the one corps 
commander who was for fighting in the council of war on Sunday 
night. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, July 15, 1863. 

Robert A. Maxwell, 1032 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia: 

Your dispatch of to-day is received, but I do not understand it. 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, July 18, 1863. 
Governor O. P. Morton, Indianapolis: 

What do you remember about the case of John O. Brown, con- 
victed of mutinous conduct and sentenced to death? What do 
you desire about it? A. Lincoln. 

New York, July 28, 1863. 
Mrs. A. Lincoln, New York: 

Bob went to Fort Monroe and only got back to-day. Will start 
to you at 11 a. m. to-morrow. All well. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, July 30. 1863. 
Major-General Meade: 

Please suspend execution of Peter Schalowsky, Company B, For- 
ty-fifth New York Regiment Volunteers, till further order and 
send me record of his conviction. A. Lincoln. 



Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 3, 1863. 

Major-General Foster, (or whoever may be in command of the 
military department with headquarters at Fort Monroe, Va. :) 

If Dr. Wright on trial at Norfolk, has been or shall be convicted, 
send me a transcript of his trial and conviction and do not let 
execution be done upon him until my further order. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, August 4, 1863. 

Hon. John A. Bingham, Cadiz, Ohio: 

It is indispensable for us to have a judge at Key West as soon 
as possible. Please inform me whether you will go. 

A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, August 5, 1863. 
Cincinnati Gazette: 
Please send me your present posting as to Kentucky election. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, August 15, 1863. 

Major-General Poster, Fort Monroe, Va.: 

I think you are right in placing " little reliance in the report," 
still the question is so interesting that I would like to know if the 
captain of the Hudson gave any particulars how he got his news 
and the like. Please answer. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, August 17, 1863. 

General W. K. Strong, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

Please send me a transcript of the record in the case McQuin 
and Bell, under sentence of death by a commission of which you 
were the head. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, August 17, 1863. 

Governor Johnson, Nashville, Tenn.: 

The appointment of Colonel Gillam to be a brigadier-general haa 
been ordered. A> Lincoln* 


Hon. James Conkling. 

War Department, 
Washington City, D. C, August 17, 1863. 

My Dear Conkling: I cannot leave here now. Herewith is a 
letter instead. You are one of the best public readers. I have but 
one suggestion — read it very slowly. And now God bless you, and 
all good Union men. Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

(From Herndon's " Life of Lincoln." Permission of Jesse Weik.) 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, August 20, 1863. 

Hon. James C. Conkling, Springfield, HI.: 

Your letter of the 14th is received. I think I will go or send 
a letter, probably the latter. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, August 20, 1863. 
General A. J. Hamilton, (of Texas) New York: 

Telegraph me the name of a boy or young man who you would 
like to have appointed to West Point. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 21, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Warrenton, Va.: 

At this late moment I am appealed to in behalf of William 
Thompson of Company K, Third Maryland Volunteers, in Twelfth 
Army Corps, said to be at Kelly's Ford, under sentence to be shot 
to-day as a deserter. He is represented to me to be very young, 
with symptoms of insanity. Please postpone the execution till 
further order. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, August 22, 1863. 
General Schofield, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

Please send me if you can a transcript of the record in the case 
of McQuin and Bell, convicted of murder by a military commis- 
sion. I telegraphed General Strong for it, but he does not answer. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, August 24, 1863. 

Mrs. Elizabeth J. Grimsley, Springfield, 111. : 

I mail the papers to you to-day appointing Johnny to the Naval 
school. A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
Washington, D. C, August 28, 1863. 

Major-General Foster, Fort Monroe, Va.: 

Please notify, if you can, Senator Bowden, Mr. Segar, and Mr. 
Chandler, all, or any of them, that I now have the record in Dr. 
Wright's case and am ready to hear them. When you shall have 
got the notice to them please let me know. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, August 28, 1863. 

General Crawford, Kappahannock Station, Va. : 

I regret that I cannot be present to witness the presentation of 
a sword by the gallant Pennsylvania Reserve Corps to one so 
worthy to receive it as General Meade. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, August 29, 1863. 
Hon. L. Swett, San Francisco, Cal.: 

If the Government's rights are reserved, the Government will be 
satisfied, and at all events it will consider. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 29, 1863. 

Ben. Field, Esq., Syracuse, N. Y. : 
I send you by mail to-day a copy of the Springfield letter. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, August 29, 1863. 

Mrs. A. Lincoln, Manchester, N. H.: 

All quite well. Fort Sumter is certainly battered down and 
utterly useless to the enemy, and it is believed here, but not en- 
tirely certain that both Sumter and Fort Wagner are occupied 
by our forces. It is also certain that General Gilmore has thrown 
some shot into the city of Charleston. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 31, 1863. 

Hon. James C. Conkling, Springfield, HI.: 

In my letter of the 26th insert between the sentence ending 
" since the issue of the emancipation proclamation as before " and 
the next commencing " You say you will not fight, &c," what fol- 
lows below my signature hereto. A. Lincoln. 


" I know as fully as one can know the opinions of others, that 
some of the commanders of our armies in the field, who have given 
us our most important successes, believe the emancipation policy, 
and the use of colored troops, constitute the heaviest blow yet- 
dealt to the rebellion, and that at least one of those important 
successes, could not have been achieved when it was, but for the 
aid of black soldiers. Among the commanders holding these views 
are some who have never had any affinity with what is called abo- 
litionism, or with Republican party politics, but who hold them 
purely as military opinions. I submit these opinions as being en- 
titled to some weight against the objections, often urged, that 
emancipation, and arming the blacks, are unwise as military meas- 
ures, and were not adopted as such in good faith." 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, August 31, 1863. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Lauck, Munfordsville, Ky.: 

Let the execution of Thomas E. Coleman and Charles Johns, 
be suspended until further order from here. Acknowledge receipt 
of this. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, August 31, 1863. 

Col. A. G. Hobson, Bowling Green, Ky. : 

I have telegraphed Lieutenant-Colonel Lauck, at Munfords- 
ville, to suspend the execution of Coleman and Johns until fur- 
ther order from here. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, August 31, 1863. 
H. B. Wilson and Others, Camden N. J. : 
Will grant you an interview on Wednesday or sooner. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 3, 1863. 

Hon. James C. Conkling, Springfield, HI.: 

I am mortified this morning to find the letter to you botched up 
in the Eastern papers, telegraphed from Chicago. How did this 
happen? A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, September 3, 1863. 
Mrs. A. Lincoln, Manchester, Yt.: 

The Secretary of War tells me he has telegraphed General 
Doubleday to await further orders. We are all well and have noth- 
ing new. , A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 5, 1863. 

Hon. Joseph Segar, Fort Monroe, Va. : 

I have just seen your dispatch to the Secretary of War, who is 
absent. I also send a dispatch from Major Hayner of the 3d 
showing that he had notice of my order, and stating that the peo- 
ple were jubilant over it, as a victory over the Government ex- 
torted by fear, and that he had already collected about 4,000 of 
the money. If he has proceeded since I shall hold him accounta- 
ble for his contumacy. On the contrary no dollar shall be re- 
funded by my order until it shall appear that my act in the case 
has been accepted in the right spirit. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 6, 1863. 

Major-General Schenck, Baltimore: 

The Secretary of War is absent. Please direct or order that the 
collection of the light house be suspended, and that the money 
already collected be held, both till further order. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C., September 6, 1863. 

Mrs. A. Lincoln, Manchester, Vt.: 

All well and no news except that General Burnside has Knox- 
ville, Term. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 9, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Warrenton, Va.: 

It would be a generous thing to give General Wheaton a leave of 
absence for ten or fifteen days, and if you can do so without injury 
to the service, please do it. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, September 10, 1863. 

General Wheaton, Army of Potomac: 

Yesterday at the instance of Mr. Blair, senator, I telegraphed 
General Meade asking him to grant you a leave of absence, to 
which he replied that you had not applied for such leave, and that 
you can have it when you do apply. I suppose it is proper for you 
to know this. A. Lincoln. 



Washington, D. C, September 11, 1863. 

Vice President Hamlin, Bangor, Me.: 

Your letter of August 22, to be presented by your son Cyrus is 
on my table, but I have not seen him, or know of his being here 
recently. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 11, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Warrenton, Va.: 

It is represented to me that Thomas Edds, in your army, is 
under sentence of death for desertion, to be executed next Mon- 
day. It is also said his supposed desertion is comprised in an ab- 
sence commencing with his falling behind last winter, being cap- 
tured and paroled by the enemy, and then going home. If this 
be near the truth, please suspend the execution till further order 
and send me the record of the trial. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 12, 1863. 

General Geary, Kelly's Ford: 

Please tell me what you know or believe as to the conduct and 
disposition of E. Jacquelin Smith, residing near Salem on the 
Manassas Gap Kailroad. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, September 12, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Warrenton, Va.: 

The name is "Thomas Edds" not "Eddies" as in your dis- 
patch. The papers left with me do not designate the regiment 
to which he belongs. The man who gave me the papers, I do not 
know how to find again. He only told me that Edds is in the 
Army of the Potomac, and that he fell out of the ranks during 
Burnsides' mud march last winter. If I get further information 
I will telegraph again. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) Executive Mansion, 

Washington, September 13, 1863. 

Hon. J. K. Dubois, Hon. O. M. Hatch: 

What nation do you desire General Allen to be made quarter- 
master-general of? This nation already has a quartermaster- 
general. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 13, 1863. 

Dr. John P. Gray, Norfolk, Va. : 

The names of those whose affidavits are left with me on the 
question of Dr. Wright's sanity are as follows: 

Mrs. Jane C. Bolsom, Mrs. M. E. Smiley, Moses Hudgin, J. D. 
Ghislin, Jr., Felix Logue, Robert B. Tunstall, M. D., Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Rooks, Dr. E. D. Granier, Thomas K. Murray, William J. 
Holmes, Miss Margaret E. Wigeon, Mrs. Emily S. Frost. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 13, 1863. 

Dr. William H. H Scott, Danville, HI.: 

Your niece, Mrs. Kate Sharp, can now have no difficulty in 
going to Knoxville, Tenn., as that place is within our military 
lines. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 15, 1863. 

J. G. Blaine, Augusta, Me.: 

Thanks both for the good news you send and for the sending 
of it. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, September 16, 1863. 

Mrs. J. F. Speed, Louisville, Ky.: 

Mr. Holman will not be jostled from his place with my knowl- 
edge and consent. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 16, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Warrenton, Va. : 

Is Albert Jones of Company K, Third Maryland Volunteers to 
be shot on Friday next? If so please state to me the general fea- 
tures of the case. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 17, 1863. 

Major-General Schenck, Baltimore, Md.: 

Major Haynor left here several days ago under a promise to 
put down in writing, in detail the facts in relation to the mis- 
conduct of the people on the Eastern shore of Virginia. He has 
not returned. Please send him over. A. Lincoln. 



Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 17, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Headquarters Army of Potomac: 

Yours in relation to Albert Jones is received. I am appealed 
to in behalf of Richard M. Abrams of Company A, Sixth New Jer- 
sey Volunteers, by Governor Parker, Attorney-General Freeling- 
hoysen, Governor Newell, Hon. Mr. Middleton, M. C, of the dis- 
trict and the marshal who arrested him. I am also appealed to in 
behalf of Joseph S. Smith, of Company A, Eleventh New Jersey 
Volunteers, by Governor Parker, Attorney-General Freelinghoy- 
sen, and Hon. Marcus C. Ward. Please state the circumstances of 
their cases to me. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) Executive Mansion, 

Washington, September 18, 1863. 

Hon. Andrew Johnson, Nashville, Tenn. : 

Dispatch of yesterday just received. I shall try to find the paper 
you mention and carefully consider it. In the meantime let me 
urge that you do your utmost to get every man you can, black and 
white, under arms at the very earliest moment, to guard roads, 
bridges and trains, allowing all the better trained soldiers to go 
forward to Eosecrans. Of course I mean for you to act in co-op- 
eration with, and not independently of the military authorities. 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, September 18, 1863. 

C. M. Smith, Esq., Springfield, HI.: 

Why not name him for the general you fancy most ? This is my 
suggestion. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, September 18, 1863. 

Mrs. Hannah Armstrong, Petersburg, HI.: 

I have just ordered the discharge of your boy William as you 
say, now at Louisville, Ky. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. 0., September 19, 1863. 

Hughey Gallagher, Philadelphia, Pa. : 

I know nothing as to John Gallagher. The law does not require 
this class of cases to come before me, and they do not come unless 
brought by the friends of the condemned. A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 20, 1863. 

Mrs. A. Lincoln, New York: 

I neither see nor hear anything of sickness here now, though 
there may be much without my knowing it. I wish you to stay, or 
come just as is most agreeable to yourself. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 21, 1863. 

Mrs. A. Lincoln, Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York: 

The air is so clear and cool and apparently healthy that I would 
be glad for you to come. Nothing very particular but I would 
be glad to see you and Tad. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 21, 1863. 

Governor Pierpoint, Alexandria, Va.: 

I would be glad to have your opinion whether it would be good 
policy to refund the money collected from the people of East 
Virginia, as indemnity for the light house depredation. I believe 
you once gave me your opinion on the point, but I am not entirely 
sure. Please answer. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 21, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

I am appealed to in behalf of John H. Williams, Company D, 
Fourth Regiment Maryland Volunteers, First Corps, who is said 
to be under sentence of death, to be executed on the 25th for de- 
sertion. The appeal is made on the ground of unsoundness of 
mind. Please give me briefly the facts and your views. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 22, 1863. 

Military Officer in Command, Cumberland, Md. : 

It is represented to me that one Dennis McCarty, is at Cumber- 
land under sentence of death, but that the time is not yet fixed 
for his execution. Please answer telling me whether this state- 
ment is correct, and also if an order shall come to you for his exe- 
cution, notify me of it at once by telegraph. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 22, 1863, 

Hon O. M. Hatch, Hon. J. K. Dubois, Springfield, 111.: 

Your letter is just received. The particular form of my dispatch 
was jocular, which I supposed you gentlemen knew me well enough 
to understand. General Allen is considered here as a very faithful 
and capable officer, and one who would be at least thought of for 
quartermaster-general if that office were vacant. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 22, 1863. 

Mrs. A. Lincoln, Fifth Avenue House, New York: 

Did you receive my dispatch of yesterday? Mrs. Cuthbert did 
not correctly understand me. I directed her to tell you to use 
your own pleasure whether to stay or come, and I did not say it 
is sickly and that you should on no account come. So far as I see 
or know, it was never healthier, and I really wish to see you. An- 
swer this on receipt. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 23, 1883. 

Thomas Davies, Indianapolis, Ind.: 

Forward your petition and record of trial immediately. There 
is time for them to reach before the 1st of next month. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 24, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

I am appealed to in favor of a private (name not remembered) 
in Company D, First Kegiment New Jersey Volunteers, in Sixth 
Corps, who is said to be under sentence to be shot to-morrow. 
Please give me briefly the facts of the case, including his age and 
your opinion on it. A. Lincoln. 

p # g # — Also give me a like statement in the case of Daniel Sul- 
livan, of Thirteenth Kegiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, First 
Army Corps. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 25, 1863. 

General McCallum, Alexandria, Va. : 

I have sent to General Meade, by telegraph, to suspend the exe- 
cution of Daniel Sullivan of Company E, Thirteenth Massachu- 


setts, which was to be to-day, but understanding there is an inter- 
ruption on the line, may I beg j r ou to send this to him by the quick- 
est mode in your power ? A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 25, 1863. 

Major-General Schenck, Baltimore, Md.: 
Please send Major Hayner over now. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 25, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

Owing to the press in behalf of Daniel Sullivan, Company E, 
Thirteenth Massachusetts, and the doubt though small, which you 
express of his guilty intention, I have concluded to say let his 
execution be suspended till further order, and copy of record 
sent me. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 26, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of the Potomac: 

I am appealed to in behalf of Adam Wolf, private in Company 
H, Thirteenth Massachusetts Regiment. Please answer as you 
have done in other cases. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, September 29, 1863. 

Officer in Command at Indianapolis, Ind. : 

Please suspend execution of Adam Davies till further order from 
me. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, September 30, 1863. 

General Schofield, Saint Louis, Mo.: 
¥ollowing dispatch just received: 

Union Men Driven Out of Missouri. 

Leavenworth, September 29. — Governor Gamble having author- 
ized Colonel Moss, of Liberty, Mo., to arm the men in Platte and 
Clinton Counties, he has armed mostly the returned rebel sol- 
diers and men under bonds. Moss' men are now driving the Uniop 


men out of Missouri. Over one hundred families crossed the rive* 
to-day. Many of the wives of our Union soldiers have been com* 
pelled to leave. Four or five Union men have been murdered by 
Colonel Moss' men. 
Please look to this and if true, in whole or part put a stop to it. 

A. Lincoln. 

Francis S. Corkran, Baltimore, Md. 

Executive Mansion, Washington, Sept. 30, 1863. 

Hon. Francis S. Corkran, Baltimore, Md. 

Mrs. L. is now at home and would be pleased to see you any 
time. If the grape time has not passed away, she would be pleased 
to join in the enterprise you mention. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Clarence G. Corkran, Lutherville, Md.) 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington City, D. O, October 1, 1863. 

Governor Bradford, Baltimore, Md.: 

Please be here in person at 12 m. Saturday to fix up definitely 
in writing the matter about which Mr. Johnson and Governor 
Hicks brings a communication from you. A. Lincoln. 

Please repeat to Annapolis. A. L. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 1, 1863. 

General Tyler, Baltimore: 

Take care of colored troops in your charge, but do nothing fur- 
ther about that branch of affairs until further orders. Particu- 
larly do nothing about General Vickers of Kent County. 

A. Lincoln. 

Send a copy to Colonel Birney. A. L. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. O, October 1, 1863—4.20 p. m 

Thomas A. Scott, Louisville, Ky. : 
Tell me how things have advanced so far as you know. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion. 

October 1, 1863. 
Major-General Meade: 

Let respite of ten days be granted to Herman Barber, alias E. W. 
Von Heinecke, sentenced to be shot to-morrow for desertion. 

A. Lincoln. 
Major Eckert: 

Send by telegraph at once. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, October 3, 1863. 

Colonel Birney, Baltimore, Md.: 

Please give me as near as you can, the number of slaves you 
have recruited in Maryland. Of course the number is not to in- 
clude the free colored. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, October 3, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

Have you a man in jeopardy as a deserter by the name William 
T. Evers, private in Company D, Brooklyn Fourteenth State Mil- 
itia, or Eighty-fourth Volunteers? If you have please send me 
the facts and conditions of his case. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 4, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

I am appealed to in behalf of Daniel Hanson, of Ninety-seventh 
New York, said to be under sentence of death for desertion. Please 
inform me as usual. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 5, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

Yesterday I inquired of you about Daniel Hanson, private in 
Ninety-seventh New York, said to be under sentence of death for 
desertion. I fear you did not receive the dispatch. Please answer. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 7, 1863. 

Governor Johnson, Nashville, Tenn: 

What news have you from Rosecrans' army, or in that direction 
beyond Nashville? A. Lincoln. 



War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 8, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

I am appealed to in behalf of August Blittersdorf, at Mitchell's 
Station, Va., to be shot to-morrow as a deserter. I am unwilling 
for any boy under eighteen to be shot, and his father affirms 
that he is yet under sixteen. Please answer. His regiment or 
company not given me. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 8, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

I am appealed to in behalf of John Murphy, to be shot to- 
morrow. His mother says he is but seventeen. Please answer. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 8, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

The boy telegraphs from Mitchell's Station, Va. The father 
thinks he is in the One hundred and nineteenth Pennsylvania Vol- 
unteers. The father signs the name " Blittersdorf." I can tell 
no more. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 11, 1863—9.50 a. m. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 
How is it now ? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 12, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

The father and mother of John Murphy, of the One hundred 
and nineteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, have filed their own affi- 
davits that he was born June 22, 1846, and also the affidavits of 
three other persons who all swear that they remembered the cir- 
cumstances of his birth and that it was in the year 1846, though 
they do not remember the particular day. I therefore on account 
of his tender age, have concluded to pardon him, and to leave it 
to yourself, whether to discharge him or continue him in the 
service. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 13, 1863. 
McVeigh, Philadelphia : 

The enemy some days ago made a movement, apparently to turn 
General Meade's right. This led to a maneuvering of the two 
armies and to pretty heavy skirmishing on Saturday, Sunday and 
Monday. We have frequent dispatches from General Meade, and 
up to 10 o'clock last night nothing had happened giving either 
side any marked advantage. Our army reported to be in excellent 
condition. The telegraph is open to General Meade's camp this 
morning, but we have not troubled him for a dispatch. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 13, 1863. 

Hon. J. K. Moorehead, Pittsburg, Pa.: 

Not unless you think it necessary. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 14, 1863—3.35. 

Wayne McVeigh, Philadelphia: 

flow does it stand now? A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. 0. 
Governor Curtin, Harrisburg, Pa.: 
How does it stand ? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington City, October 15, 1863. 

Hon. James W. Grimes, Burlington, Iowa: 

Thanks for your Iowa election news. I suppose you know that 
Pennsylvania and Ohio are all right. Governor Morton telegraphs 
that county elections in Indiana have gone largely in the same 
direction. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 15, 1863. 

Maj. Herman Keitez, Cumberland, Md. : 

Suspend execution of Dennis McCarty till further order from 
here. If McCarty has been removed send this to the officer where 
he is. A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 15, 1863. 

L. B. Todd, Lexington, Ky. : 

I send the following pass to your care. 

A. Lincoln. 

" Washington, D. C, October 15, 1863. 

To whom it may concern : 

Allow Mrs. Eobert S. Todd, widow, to go South and bring her 
daughter Mrs. General B. Hardin Helm, with her children north 
to Kentucky. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 15, 1863. 

Major-General Foster, Fort Monroe, Va. : 

Postpone the execution of Dr. Wright to Friday the 23d instant, 
(October). This is intended for his preparation and is final. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 15, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

On the 4th instant you telegraphed me that Private Daniel Han- 
son, of Ninety-seventh New York Volunteers, had not yet been 
tried. When he shall be, please notify me of the result, with a 
brief statement of his case, if he be convicted. Gustave Blit- 
tersdorf, whom you say is enlisted in the One hundred and nine- 
teenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, as William Fox, is proven to 
me to be only fifteen years old last January. I pardon him, and 
you will discharge him or put him in the ranks at your discre- 
tion. Mathias Brown, of Nineteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, is 
proven to me to be eighteen last May, and his friends say he is 
convicted on an enlistment and for a desertion, both before that 
time. If this last be true he is pardoned, to be kept or discharged 
as you please. If not true suspend his execution and report the 
facts of his case. Did you receive my dispatch of 12th pardoning 
John Murphy? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. O, October 16, 1863. 

Hon. S. P. Chase, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio: 

If Judge Lawrence cannot go to Key West at once, I shall have 
to appoint another. A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 16, 1863. 

Thomas W. Sweeney, Continental, Philadelphia : 

Tad is teasing me to have you forward his pistol to him. 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, October 16, 1863. 
T. C. Durant, New York: 

I remember receiving nothing from you of the 10th, and I da 
not comprehend your dispatch of to-day. In fact I do not remem- 
ber, if I ever knew who you are, and I have very little concep- 
tion as to what you are telegraphing about. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 16, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

Have you in custody for desertion a man by the name of Jacob 
Schwarz, a Swiss ? If so please send a short statement of his case. 
Neither his company, regiment or corps is given me. 

A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, October 17, 1863. 

Major-General Burnside, Knoxville, Tenn.: 

I am greatly interested to know how many new troops of all 
sorts you have raised in Tennessee. Please inform me. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 17, 1863. 

Hon. Simon Cameron, Harrisburg, Pa. : 

I forgot to notify you that your dispatch of day before yesterday 
was duly received, and immediately attended to in the best way 
we could think of. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 17, 1863. 

Major-General Slocum, Stevenson, Ala.: 

Please have a medical examination made of William Brown, 
private in Company C, Fifth Connecticut Volunteers, and report 
the result to me. A. Lincoln. 



Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, October 17, 1863. 

Hon. William B. Thomas, Philadelphia, Pa.: 

I am grateful for your offer of 100,000 men, but as at present 
advised I do not consider that Washington is in danger, or that 
there is any emergency requiring 60 or 90 days men. 

A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, October 17, 1863. 

Major-General Foster, Fort Monroe, Va. : 

It would be useless for Mrs. Dr. Wright to come here. The sub- 
ject is a very painful one, but the case is settled. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington City, D. C, October 18, 1863. 

T. C. Durant, New York: 

As I do with others, so I will try to see you when you come. 

A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, October 20, 1863. 

Col. Donn Piatt, Baltimoi^, Md.: 

If the young men seem to know anything of importance, send 
them over. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 20, 1863. 
Major-General Burnside, 
Brig. Gen. J. T. Boyle, Louisville, Ky.: 

Let execution of sentence of Lee W. Long be suspended until 
further order. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 22, 1863. 

Military Commander, Evansville, Ind. : 

A certain Major Long, I believe Lee W. Long, is by sentence of 
court-martial, or military commission, to be executed soon on the 
30th instant, I think at Evansville. I have directed execution of 
the sentence to be suspended till further order. Please act accord- 
ingly. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C., October 25, 1863. 

General S. T. Boyle, Louisville, Ky. : 

Let the order suspending the execution of Long apply also to the 
case of Woolf oik. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) Executive Mansion, 

Washington, D. C, October 28, 1863. 

Hon. Andrew Johnson, Nashville, Tenn.: 

If not too inconvenient, please come at once and have a personal 
conversation with me, A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, October 29, 1863. 
T. J. Carter, New York : 

I made your appointment yesterday, and the Secretary of the 
Interior undertook to send it to you. I suppose it will reach you 
to-day. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 29, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac : 

I see in a newspaper that you have recently approved sentences 
of death for desertion of Thomas Sands, James Haley, H. H. Wil- 
liams, Mathias Brown, alias Albert Brown, H. C. Beardsley, and 
George F. Perkins. Several of these are persons in behalf of whom 
appeals have been made to me. Please send me a short statement 
of each one of the cases, stating the age of each, so far as you can. 

A. Lincoln. 

Hon. James W. Grimes. 

Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C, Oct. 29, 1863. 

Hon. James W. Grimes. 

My Dear Sir: The above act of congress was passed, as I sup- 
pose, for the purpose of shutting out improper applicants for seats 
in the House of Representatives; and I fear there is some danger 
that it will be used to shut out proper ones. Iowa, having an en- 
tire Union delegation, will be one of the States the attempt will 
be made, if upon any. The Governor doubtless has made out the 
certificates, and they are already in the hands of the members. I 
suggest that they come on with them ; but that, for greater caution, 


you, and perhaps Mr. Harlan with you, consult with the Governor, 
and have an additional set made out according to the form on 
the other half of this sheet; and still another set, if you can, by 
studying the law, think of a form that in your judgment, promises 
additional security, and quietly bring the whole on with you, to 
be used in case of necessity. Let what you do be kept still. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Hist. Dept. of Iowa. Loaned by Charles 
Aldrich, Des Moines, Iowa.) 

(Cypher) Executive Mansion, 

Washington, D. C, October 30, 1863.. 

Hon. F. F. Lowe, San Francisco, Cal. : 

Below is an act of Congress, passed last session, intended to ex- 
clude applicants not entitled to seats, but which there is reason to 
fear, will be used to exclude some who are entitled. Please get with 
the Governor and one or two other discreet friends, study the act 
carefully, and make certificates in two or three forms, according to 
your best judgment, and have them sent to me, so as to multiply the 
chances of the delegation getting their seats. Let it be done with- 
out publicity. Below is a form which may answer for one. If you 
could procure the same to be done for the Oregon member it might 
be well. A. Lincoln. 

Act to regulate the duties of the clerk of the House of Repre- 
sentatives in preparing for the Organization of the House. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America, in Congress assembled, That, before the 
first meeting of the next Congress, and of every subsequent Con- 
gress, the Clerk of the next preceding House of Representatives 
shall make a roll of the representatives elect and place thereon the 
names of all persons, and of such persons only, whose credentials 
show that they were regularly elected in accordance with the laws 
of their States respectively, or the law of the United States. 

Approved March 3, 1863. 

By His Excellency 

Governor of the State of California. 

I, , Governor of the State of California, do hereby 

certify and make known that the following persons, namely : 
Names. Districts. 

have been regularly elected members of the House of Representa- 
tives of the United States for the Thirty-eighth Congress, and for 



the districts above mentioned, in accordance with the laws of the 
said State and of the United States, and that they only have been 
so elected. 

IN TESTIMONY THEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand 
and caused the seal of the said State to be affixed. 

Secretary of State. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, October 30, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac : 

Much obliged for the information about deserters contained in 
your dispatch of yesterday, while I have to beg your pardon for 
troubling you in regard to some of them, when, as it appears by 
yours, I had the means of answering my own questions. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 31, 1863. 

Hon. Abram Wakeman, New York : 

Hanscom's dispatch just received. Have made careful inquiry 
as to the truth of assertions you refer to and find them unfounded. 
The provost-marshal-general has issued no proclamation at all. He 
has in no form announced anything recently in regard to troops in 
New York, except in his letter to Governor Seymour of October 21, 
which has been published in the newspapers of that State. 

John Hay. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 31, 1863... 

Saint Nicholas Hotel Office, New York : 

Not knowing whether Colonel Parsons could be spared from duty 
elsewhere to come to Washington, I referred Governor Yates's dis- 
patch to the Secretary of War, who I presume still holds it under 
advisement. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 31, 1863. 

L. B. Todd, Lexington, Ky. : 

I sent the pass by telegraph more than ten days ago. Did you 
not receive it ? A. Lincoln* 


War Department, 
Washington, D. C, November 1, 1863. 

J. B. Sheppard, Harper's Ferry, Md. : 

Yours of this morning received, and the Secretary of War is at- 
tending to your request. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, November 1, 1863. 

Hon. W. H. Seward, Auburn, N. Y.: 

No important news. Details of Hooker's night fight do great- 
credit to his command, and particularly to the Eleventh Corps 
and Geary's part of the Twelfth. No discredit on any. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington City, November 3, 1863. 

Abram Eequa, New York: 

I know nothing whatever of Lieutenant Lobring, about whose 
case you telegraph. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, November 3, 1863. 

Hon. W. H. Seward, Auburn, N. Y.: 

Nothing new. Dispatches up to 12 last night from Chattanooga 
show all quiet and doing well. How is your son ? 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 3, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

Samuel Wellers, private in Company B, Forty-ninth Pennsyl- 
vania Volunteers, writes that he is to be shot for desertion on the 
6th instant. His own story is rather a bad one, and yet he tells it 
so frankly, that I am somewhat interested in him. Has he been 
a good soldier except the desertion ? About how old is he ? 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, November 5, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

Please suspend the execution of Samuel Wellers, Forty-ninth 
Pennsylvania Volunteers, until further orders. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington City, November 8, 1863. 

William B. Astor, Eobert B. Rosevelt, New York : 

I shall be happy to give the interview to the committee as you 
request. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, November 9, 1863. 

Major Mulford, Fort Monroe: 
Let Mrs. Clark go with Mrs. Todd. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, November 10, 1863. 

General Schofield, Saint Louis, Mo. : 

1 see a dispatch here from Saint Louis, which is a little difficult 
for me to understand. It says " General Schofield has refused 
leave of absence to members in military service to attend the leg- 
islature. All such are radical and administration men. The elec- 
tion of two Senators from this place on Thursday will probably 
turn upon this thing." What does this mean? Of course members 
of the legislation must be allowed to attend its sessions. But 
how is there a session before the recent election returns are in? 
And how is it to be at " this place " — and that is Saint Louis ? 
Please inform me. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, November 11, 1863. 

General Schofield, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

I believe the Secretary of War has telegraphed you about mem- 
bers of the legislation. At all events, allow those in the service 
to attend the session, and we can afterward decide whether they 
can stay through the entire session. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) Executive Mansion, 

Washington, D. C, November 11, 1863. 

Hon. Hiram Barney, New York: 

I would like an interview with you. Can you not come ? 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, November 11, 1863. 

John Milderborger, Peru, Ind.: 

I cannot comprehend the object of your dispatch. I do not often 
decline seeing people who call upon me, and probably will see you if 
you call. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 12, 1863. 

General Vaughan, or officer in command, Lexington, Mo. : 

Let execution of William H. Ogden be suspended until further 
order from me. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, November 13, 1863. 

E. H. & E. Jameson, Jefferson City, Mo.: 

Yours saying Brown and Henderson are elected senators is re- 
ceived. I understand this is one and one. If so it is knocking 
heads together to some purpose. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, November 16, 1863. 

Major-General Burnside, Knoxville, Tenn.: 
What is the news? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 20, 1863. 

Major-General Sciienck, Baltimore, Md. : 

It is my wish that neither Maynadier, nor Gordon be executed 
without my further order. Please act upon this. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, November 20, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

If there is a man by the name of King under sentence to be 
shot, please suspend execution till further order, and send record. 

A. Lincoln. 

ExECUTrvnE Mansion, 
Washington, November 20, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

An intelligent woman in deep distress, called this morning, saying 
her husband, a lieutenant in the Army of Potomac, was to be shot 
next Monday for desertion, and putting a letter in my hand, upon 
which I relied for particulars, she left without mentioning a name 
or other particular by which to identify the case. On opening 
the letter I found it equally vague, having nothing to identify 
by, except her own signature, which seems to be " Mrs. Anna S. 
King." I could not again find her. If you have a case which you 
shall think is probably the one intended, mease apply my dispatch 
of this morning to it. A. Lincoln. 



Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, November 23, 1863. 

E. P. Evans, West Union, Adams County, Ohio : 

Yours to Governor Chase in behalf of John A. Welch is before 
me. Can there be a worse case than to desert and with letters 
persuading others to desert? I cannot interpose without a better 
showing than you make. When did he desert? When did he 
write the letters? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 23, 1863. 

Hon. Green Clay Smith, Covington, Ky.: 

I am told that John A. Welch is under sentence as a deserter to 
be shot at Covington on the 11th of December. Please bring a copy 
of the record and other facts of his case with you when you come. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, November 24, 1863. 

Military Officer in Command, Cincinnati, Ohio: 

Please suspend execution of sentence against E. A. Smith, until 
further order, meantime send me a copy of record of his trial. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, November 25, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Commanding Army of the Potomac: 

Suspend execution in case of Adolphus Morse, Seventy-sixth 
New Ycrk, deserter, and send record to me. A. Lincoln. 

November 25, 1863. 
Major-General Meade: 

The sentence in the case of Privt. Moses Giles, Company B, 
Seventh Maine Volunteers, is suspended until further orders. 

A. Lincoln. 

December 2, 1863. 
Major-General Meade: 

The sentence in the case of Privt. H. Morris Husband, Ninety- 
ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers, (now of Third Army Corps First 
Division) is suspended until further orders. Let the record be 
forwarded to me. A. Lincoln. 



Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 3, 1863. 
Major-General Meade: 

Please suspend execution of Frederick Foster until the record 
can be examined. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 3, 1863. 
Major-General Meade: 

Governor Seymour especially asks that Isaac C. White sentenced 
to death for desertion be reprieved. I wish this done. 

A. Lincoln. 

Major-General Meade: 

The sentences in the cases of Brice Birdsill, private Company 
B, One hundred and twenty-fourth New York Volunteers, and 
Frederick Foster, of Ninety-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers, are 
suspended until further orders. Let the records be forwarded at 
once. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 3, 1863. 
Major-General Meade: 

Please suspend execution in case of William A. Gammon, 
Seventh Maine, and send record to me. A. Lincoln. 

Send by telegraph and oblige, yours very truly, 

John Hay- 

Major-General Meade: 

The sentences in the cases of Private John L. Keatly, and James 
Halter, Company I, Second Delaware Volunteers, are suspended 
until further orders. Let the records be at once forwarded. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 4, 1863 — 9 1-2 a. m. 

Mrs. A. Lincoln, Metropolitan, New York : 
All going well. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 5, 1863 — 10 a. m. 

Mrs. A. Lincoln, Metropolitan Hotel, New York: 
All doing well. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, December 6, 1863. 

Mrs. A. Lincoln, Metropolitan Hotel, New York: 
All doing well. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 7, 1863 — 10.20 a. m. 

Mrs. A. Lincoln, Metropolitan Hotel, New York: 

All doing well. Tad confidently expects you to-night. When 
will you come? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 7, 1863 — 7 p. m. 

Mrs. A. Lincoln, Metropolitan Hotel, New York: 

Tad has received his book. The carriage shall be ready at (5 
p. m. to-morrow. A. Lincoln. 

Charles P. Kirkland, New York. 

Executive Mansion, Washington, Dec. 7, 1863. 

Charles P. Kirkland, Esq., New York. 

I have just received and have read your published letter to the 
Hon. Benjamin R. Curtis. Under the circumstances I may not be 
the most competent judge, but it appears to me to be a paper of 
great ability, and for the country's sake more than for my own I 
thank you for it. Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Miss Julia Kirkland, Utica, N. Y.) 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 9, 1863. 
Judge Advocate-General : 

Colonel: The President desires me to request that you will 
order the execution of these men to be suspended until the records 
can be examined, using the President's signature to your dispatch. 

Yours truly, John Hay. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 10, 1863. 

Major-General Butler, Fort Monroe, Va. : 

Please suspend execution in any and all sentences of death 
in your department until further orders. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. O, December 10, 1863. 

Officer in Military Command, Covington, Ky. : 

Let the execution of John A. Welch, under sentence to be shot 
for desertion to-morrow, be suspended until further order from here. 

A. Lincoln. 

December 11, 1863. 

Brigadier-General Lockwood, Baltimore, Md.: 

The sentences in the cases of Privates William Irons, Company 
D, and Jesse Lewis, Company E, Fifth Maryland Volunteers, or- 
dered to be carried into execution to-day, is hereby suspended until 
further orders. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) Executive Mansion, 

Washington, December 11, 1863. 

General J. M. Schofield, Saint Louis, Mo.: 
Please come to see me at once. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 11, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of the Potomac: 

Lieut. Col. James B. Knox, Tenth Regiment Pennsylvania Re- 
serves, offers his resignation under circumstances inducing me to 
wish to accept it. But I prefer to know your pleasure upon the 
subject. Please answer. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 12, 1863. 
Major-General Meade: 

Please suspend execution of sentence in case of William F. Good- 
win, Company B, Seventeenth Infantry, and forward the record 
for my examination. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) Executive Mansion, 

Washington, D. C, December 13, 1863. 

General J. M. Schofield, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

On the 11th I telegraphed asking you to come here and see me. 
Did you receive the dispatch? A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 14, 1863. 
Major-General Meadkj 

Please suspend execution in case of William Gibson, Fourth 
Maine Regiment until further order and send record. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 14, 1863. 
Major-General Meade: 

Please suspend execution of Lewis Beers, Fourteenth U. S. In- 
fantry, and of William J. Hazlett, One hundred and nineteenth 
Pennsylvania Volunteers and send record. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 15, 1863. 

Mother Mary Gonyeag, Superior, Academy of Visitation, Keokuk, 
The President has no authority as to whether you may raffle for 
the benevolent object you mention. If there is no objection in the 
Iowa laws, there is none here. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) Executive Mansion, 

Washington, D. C, December 17, 1863. 

Major-General Hurlbut, Memphis, Tenn.: 

I understand you have under sentence of death, a tall old man, 
by the name of Henry F. Luckett. I personally knew him, and 
did not think him a bad man. Please do not let him be executed 
unless upon further order from me, and in the meantime send me a 
transcript of the record. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C., December 21, 1863. 

Governor Pierpoint, Alexandria, Va. : 
Please come up and see me to-day. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, December 21, 1863. 

Major-General Butler, Fort Monroe, Va.: 

It is said that William H. Blake is under sentence of death at 
Fort Magruder, in your department. Do not let him be executed 
without further order from me, and in the meantime have the 
record sent me. He is said to belong to the First or Second Penn- 
sylvania Artillery. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 22, 1863. 

Military Commander, Point Lookout, Md. : 

If you have a prisoner by the name Linder — Daniel Linder, I 
think, and certainly the son of U. F. Linder, of Illinois, please 
send him to me by an officer. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, December 24, 1863. 

Military Commander, Point Lookout, Md. : 

If you send Linder to me as directed a day or two ago, also 
send Edwin C. Claybrook, of Ninth Virginia rebel cavalry. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, December 26, 1863. 

Hon. U. F. Linder, Chicago, HI.: 

Your son Dan has just left me with my order to the Secretary of 
War, to administer to him the oath of allegiance, discharge hn> 
and send him to you. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 26, 1863. 

Major-General Burnside, Providence, R. I.: 

Yours in relation to Privates Eaton and Burrows, of the Sixth 
New Hampshire, is received. When you reach here about New 
Year, call on me and we will fix it up, or I will do it sooner if you 
say so. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 26, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of the Potomac : 

If Christopher Delker, of the Sixty-first Pennsylvania Volun- 
teers, is under sentence of death, do not execute him till further 
order. Whenever it shall be quite convenient I shall be glad to 
have a conference with you about this class of cases. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, December 29, 1863. 

Major-General Burnside, Providence, R. I.: 

You may telegraph Eaton and Burrows that these cases will be 
disposed of according to your request when you come to Wash* 
ingtop ^» Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 29, 1863. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

I am appealed to in behalf of Joseph Richardson of Forty-ninth 
Pennsylvania, and Moses Chadbourne, (in some New Hampshire 
Regiment) said to be under sentence for desertion. As in other 
cases do not let them be executed until further order. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 30, 1863. 

General Boyle, Louisville, Ky.: 

It is said that Corporal Robert L. Crowell, of Company E, Twen- 
tieth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, is under sentence to be shot 
on the 8th of January at Louisville. Do not let the sentence be 
executed until further order from me. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, December 30, 1863. 

Major-General Butler, Fort Monroe, Va.: 

Jacob Bowers is fully pardoned for past offence, upon condition 
that he returns to duty and re-enlists for three years or during 
the war. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, January 1, 1864 — 3.30 p. m. 

General Sullivan, Harper's Ferry: 

Have you anything new from Winchester, Martinsburg or there- 
abouts? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, January 2, 1864. 

Governor Pierpoint, Alexandria, Va. : 

Please call and see me to-day if not too inconvenient. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 3, 1864. 

Major-General Hurlbut, Memphis, Tenn.: 

Suspend execution of sentence of Privt. Peter Fingle of Four- 
teenth Iowa Volunteers, and forward record of trial for examina- 
tion. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 3, 1864. 
Major-General Meade: 

Suspend the execution of Prvt. Joseph Richardson, Forty-ninth 
Pennsylvania Volunteers, who is sentenced to be shot to-morrow, 
and forward record of trial for examination. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 

Please send above dispatch. Jno. G. Nicolay. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, January 5, 1864. 

Mrs. Lincoln, Continental Hotel, Philadelphia, Pa.: 
All very well. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, January 5, 1864. 

General Boyle, Camp Nelson, Ky.: 

Execution in the cases of Burrow and Eaton is suspended, as 
stated by General Burnside. Let this be taken as an order to that 
effect. I do not remember receiving any appeal in behalf of God- 
dard, Crowell, Prickett, or Smith, and yet I may have sent a 
dispatch in regard to some of them. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 5, 1864. 
Major-General Meade: 

If not inconsistent with the service, please allow General Wil- 
liam Harrow as long a leave of absence as the rules permit with the 
understanding that I may lengthen it if I see fit. He is an acquaint- 
ance and friend of mine, and his family matters very urgently 
require his presence. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, January 6, 1864. 

General Boyle, Camp Nelson, Ky. : 

Let execution in the cases of Goddard, Crowell, Prickett, and 
Smith, mentioned by you be suspended till further order. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 7, 1864. 

Mrs. A. Lincoln, Philadelphia, Pa. : 

We are all well and have not been otherwise. A. Lincoln. 



Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, January 7, 1864. 

Officer in Command, Covington, Ky. : 

The death sentence of Henry Andrews is commuted to impris- 
onment at hard labor during the remainder of the war. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, January 9, 1864. 

Hon. Simon Cameron, Harrisburg, Pa.: 

Your two letters one of the 6th and the other of the 7th both 
received. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 11, 1864. 

R. T. Lincoln, Cambridge, Mass.: 

I send you draft to-day. How are you now? Answer by tele- 
graph at once. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 12, 1864. 

Governor O. P. Morton, Indianapolis, Ind. : 

I have telegraphed to Chattanooga suspending execution of Wil- 
liam Jeffries until further order from me. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, January 12, 1864. 

Major-General Grant or Major-General Thomas, Chattanooga, 
Let execution of the death sentence upon William Jeffries, of 
Company A, Sixth Indiana Volunteers, be suspended until further 
order from here. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 13, 1864. 

Major-General Butler, Fortress Monroe, Va.: 

Let Wilson B. Kevas, Third Pennsylvania Artillery, be respited 
until further orders. A. Lincoln. 



Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. O, January 14, 1864. 

Major-General Meade, Army of the Potomac: 

Suspend execution of the death sentence in the case of Allen G. 
Maxson, corporal in Company D, in First Michigan Volunteers, 
until further order. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 15, 1864. 

Governor Brough, Columbus, Ohio : 

If Private William G. Toles, of Fifty-ninth Ohio Volunteers, 
returns to his regiment and faithfully serves out his term, he is 
fully pardoned for all military offenses prior to this. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 16, 1864. 

General Sullivan, Harper's Ferry: 

Please state to me the reasons of the arrest of Capt. William 
Firey, of Major Coles' battalion, at Charlestown. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. O, January 16, 1864. 

Major-General Meade or Major-General Sedgwick, Army of the 
Potomac : 
Suspend execution of death sentence of Joseph W. Clifton, of 
Sixth New Jersey Volunteers, until further order. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 19, 1864. 

Col. John Clark, Third Regiment of Pennsylvania Reserves, Al- 
exandria, Va. : 
Where is John Wilson, under sentence of desertion, of whom you 
wrote Hon. Mr. Thayer yesterday ? A. Lincoln 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 19, 1864. 

R. T. Lincoln, Cambridge, Mass.: 

There is a good deal of small-pox here. Your friends miMto 
judge for themselves whether they ought to com* or not. 

A. Lincoln. 


Major Eokert: 
Please send above dispatch. Jno. G. NlCOLAY. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, January 20, 1864. 

Major-General Butler, Fort Monroe: 

Please suspend executions until further order, in the cases of 
Private Henry Wooding, of Company C, Eighth Connecticut Vol- 
unteers, and Private Albert A. Lacy, of Company H, Fourth Rhode 
Island Volunteers. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, January 20, 1864. 

Major-General Butler: 

If Henry C. Fuller, of Company C, One hundred and eighteenth 
New York Volunteers, under sentence of death for desertion, has 
not been executed, suspend his execution until further order. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 20, 1864. 

Major-General Sedgwick, Army of the Potomac: 

Please suspend execution of John Wilson, of Seventy-first Penn- 
sylvania, under sentence for desertion, till further order. 

A. LiNCOLtf. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 20, 1864. 
Major-General Sedgwick: 

Suspend execution till further order in case of Private James 
Lane, Company B, Seventy-first New York Volunteers. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 22, 1864. 

Military Commander, Fort Independence : 

Suspend until further order execution of Charles R. Belts, of 
Twelfth Massachusetts, and send me the record of his trial. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 23, 1864. 

Maj. Gen. C. C. Washburne, Care of C. & G. Woodman, No. 33 
Pine street, New York City : 
Your brother wishes you to visit Washington, and this is your 
authority to do so. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 25, 1864. 
Major-General Meade: 

Suspend execution of sentence Samuel Tyler, of Company G, 
Third Kegiment New Jersey Volunteers, in First Brigade, First 
Division, Sixth Corps, and forward record for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 
Major Eckert: 
Please send above dispatch Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 25, 1864. 
Major-General Meade: 

Suspend execution of death sentence of Robert Gill, ordered to be 
shot on the 29th instant, and forward record for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 
Major Eckert: 
Please send above dispatch. Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 26, 1864. 

Major-General Butler, Fort Monroe: 

Some days ago a dispatch was sent to stay execution of James 
C. Grattan, and perhaps some others, which has not been answered. 
Please answer. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 26, 1864. 
Major-General Sedgwick: 

Your letter of January 22, received. Suspend execution of sen* 
tence in all the capital cases mentioned in General Orders No. 1 
and 2, where it has not already been done. I recapitulate the 
whole list of capital cases mentioned in said orders including those 
cases in which execution has been heretofore, as well as those on 
which it is now suspended. 

Private John Wilson, Company D, Seventy-first Pennsylvania; 
Private James Lane, Company B, Seventy-first New York; Pri- 


vate Joseph W. Clifton, Company F, Sixth New Jersey; Private 
Ira Smith, Company I, Eleventh New Jersey; Private Allen G. 
Maxson, Company D, First Michigan; Private John Keatly, Com- 
pany I, Second Delaware; Private Daniel P. Byrnes, Company A, 
Ninety-eighth Pennsylvania; Private Samnel Tyler, Company G, 
Third New Jersey; Private Robert Gill, Company D, Sixth New 
York Cavalry. 

Forward the records in these cases for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 
Please send above dispatch. Jno. G. Nicolay. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, January 27, 1864. 

Major-General Foster, Knoxville, Tenn. : 

Is a supposed correspondence between General Longstreet ana 
yourself about the amnesty proclamation, which is now in the 
newspapers genuine? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 28, 1864. 

To the Commanding Officer at Fort Preble, Portland, Me. : 

Suspend the execution of death sentence of Charles Caple, until 
further orders, and forward record for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 

Please send above dispatch. I infer from the letter on which 
the reprieve is granted that Fort Preble is in Maine, but do not 
certainly know. Please inquire of Colonel Hardee As the execu- 
tion was set for to-morrow, it is important that the dispatch should 
go at once. **<>. G- ^colay, 

fc Private Secretary. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 28, 1864. 

Commanding Officer, Fort Mifflin: _ 

Suspend execution of death sentence of Bernard Develin, Com- 
pany E, Eighty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, until further orders, 
and forward record for examination. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: _ t 

Please send above dispatch. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 28, 1864, 

Hon. Edward Stanley, San Francisco, Cal. ; 

Yours of yesterday received. We have rumors similar to the 
dispatch received by you, but nothing very definite from North 
Carolina. Knowing" Mr. Stanley to be an able man, and not doubt- 
ing that he is a patriot, I should be glad for him to be with his 
old acquaintances south of Virginia, but I am unable to suggest 
anything definite upon the subject A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 29, 1864. 

Major-General Sickles, New York . 

Could you, without it being inconvenient or disagreeable to 
yourself, immediately take a trip to Arkansas for me ? 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
WASHINGTON, D. C, January 29, 1864. 

Major-General Sedgwick, Army of Potomac : 

Suspend execution of George Sowers, Company E, Fourth Ohio 
Volunteers, and send record A« Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C. t January 31, 1864. 

Governor Bramlette, Frankfort, Ky. °. 

General Boyle's resignation is accepted, so that your Excel- 
lency can give him the appointment proposed. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 1, 1864. 

Major-General Dix, New York s 

Suspend execution of death sentence of Frank W. Parker, of 
one of the Maine regiments, sentenced to be shot for desertion 
on the 5th instant, and forward record for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert : 
Please send above dispatch, Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 



Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 3, 1864. 

Governor Yates, Springfield, 111.: 

The U. S. Government lot in Springfield can be used for a sol- 
diers' home, with the understanding that the Government doea 
not incur any expense in the case. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 6, 1864. 

Commanding Officer at Sandusky, Ohio : 

Suspend the execution of death sentence of George Samuel 
Goodrich, Jr., One hundred and twenty-second Regiment New 
York Volunteers, and forward record for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 
Major Eckert: 

Send above dispatch. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 8, 1864. 

Commanding Officer, Portland, Me., care of Israel Washburne, Jr. : 
Suspend execution of death sentence of James Taylor until fur- 
ther orders, and forward record of trial for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 
Major Eckert: 
Please send above dispatch. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 8, 1864. 
Major-General Sedgwick : 

Suspend execution of death sentence of James Taylor until fur- 
ther orders and forward record of trial for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 
Major Eckert: 

Please send above dispatch. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, February 10, 1864. 

Governor Brough, Columbus, Ohio: 

Robert Johnson, mentioned by you, is hereby fully pardoned 
for any supposed desertion up to date. A. LincolK- 


War Department, 
Washington, D. C, February 10, 1864. 

Major-General Sickles, New York: 

Please come on at your earliest convenience, prepared to mak« 
the contemplated trip for me. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 11, 1864. 

Major-General Sedgwick, Army of Potomac: 

Unless there be strong reason to the contrary, please send Gen- 
eral Kilpatrick to us here, for two or three days. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 12, 1864. 

Military Commander, Boston, Mass. : 

If there is anywhere in your command a man by the name of 
James Taylor under sentence of death for desertion, suspenu ex- 
ecution till further order. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 12, 1864. 

Major-General Dix, New York: 

If there is anywhere in your command a man by the name of 
James Taylor under sentence of death for desertion, suspend exe- 
cution till further order. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 17, 1864. 

Major-General Steele, Little Kock, Ark.: 

The day fixed by the convention for the election is probably 
the best, but you on the ground, and in consultation with gen- 
tlemen there, are to decide. I should have fixed no day for an 
election, presented no plan for reconstruction, had I known the 
convention was doing the same things. It is probably best that 
you merely assist the convention on their own plan, as to election 
day and all other matters. I have already written and telegraphed 
this half a dozen times. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 18, 1864. 
A. Robinson, Leroy, N. Y.: 

The law only obliges us to keep accounts with States, or at most, 
Congressional Districts, and it would overwhelm us to attempt 


in counties, cities and towns. Nevertheless we do what we can 
to oblige in particular cases. In this view I send your dispatch 
to the provost-marshal general, asking him to do the best he can 
for you. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

February 19, 1864. 

Commander George S. Blake, Commandant Naval Academy, New- 
port, B. I.: 
I desire the case of Midshipman C Lyon re-examined and if not 
clearly inconsistent I shall be much obliged to have the recom- 
mendation changed. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 22, 1864. 

His Excellency Governor Brough, Columbus, Ohio: 
As you request Clinton Fulton charged as a deserter is pardoned. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, February 22, 1864. 

Major-General Steele, Little Kock, Ark.: 

Yours of yesterday received. Your conference with citizens 
approved. Let the election be on the 14th of March as they agreed. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, February 22, 1864. 

Major-General Rosecrans, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

Colonel Sanderson will be ordered to you to-day, a mere omis- 
sion that it was not done before. The other questions in your dis- 
patch I am not yet prepared to answer. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 25, 1864. 

Commanding Officer, Johnson's Island : 

Suspend execution of death sentence of John Marrs until fup« 
ther orders and forward record for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 
Major Eckert : 

Please send the above dispatch. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

(27) Private Secretary. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 26, 1864. 

Major-General Butler, Fort Monroe, Va.: 

I cannot remember at whose request it was that I gave the pass 
to Mrs. Bulkly. Of course detain her, if the evidence of her being 
a spy is strong against her. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 26, 1864. 

Major-General Butler, Fort Monroe: 

If it has not already been done, suspend execution of death sen- 
tence of William K. Stearns, Tenth New Hampshire Volunteers, 
until further orders and forward record. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 
Please send the above dispatch. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 
W. •layne. 

Executive Mansion, Washington, February 26, 1864. 

Hon. W. Jayne. 

Dear Sir: I dislike to make changes in office so long as they 
can be avoided. It multiplies my embarrassments immensely. I 
dislike two appointments when one will do. Send me the name 
of some man not the present marshal, and I will nominate him to 
be Provost Marshal for Dakota. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Dr. William Jayne, Springfield, 111.) 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 27, 1864. 

Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas, Department of Cumberland: 

Suspend execution of death sentence of F. W. Lauferseick, first 
corporal, Company D, One hundred and sixth Regiment Ohio Vol- 
unteers, until further orders, and forward record for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 
Major Eckert: 
Please send the above dispatch. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 29, 1864. 

Major-General Dix, New York: 

Do you advise that John McKee, now in military confinement 
at Tort Lafayette, be turned over to the civil authorities ? 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 2, 1864. 

Officer in Command, Knoxville, Term.: 

Allow Mrs. Anne Maria Rumsey, with her six daughters to go 
to her father, Judge Breck, at Richmond, Ky. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 2, 1864. 
Judge D. Breck, Richmond, Ky.: 

I have directed the officer at Knoxville to allow Mrs. Rumsey 
to come to you. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 2, 1864. 
Major-General Meade: 

Suspend execution of the death sentence of James Whelan, One 
hundred and sixteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, until further 
orders and forward record for examination. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 
Please send the above dispatch. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, March 3, 1864. 

Major-General Steele, Little Rock, Ark. : 

Yours including address to people of Arkansas is received. 1 
approve the address and thank you for it. Yours in relation to 
Willard M. Randolph also received. Let him take the oath of De- 
cember 8, and go to work for the new constitution, and on your 
notifying me of it, I will immediately issue the special pardon for 
him. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 4, 1864. 

Major-General Butler, Fort Monroe, Va. : 

Admiral Dahlgreen is here, and of course is very anxious about 
his son. Please send me at once all you know or can learn of his 
fate. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 7, 1864. 
TJ. S. Marshal, Louisville, Ky. : 

Until further order suspend sale of property and further pro- 
ceedings in cases of the United States against Dr. John B. English, 


and S. S. English, et al. sureties for John L. Hill. Also same 
against same sureties for Thomas A. Ireland. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 
Please send the above dispatch. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 9, 1864. 

Major-General Butler, Fort Monroe, Va.: 

What are the facts about the imprisonment of Joseph A. Bilisoly 1 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 9, 1864. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

New York City votes 9,500 majority for allowing soldiers to vote, 
and the rest of the State nearly all on the same side. Tell the 
soldiers. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 14, 1864. 

Major-General Butler, Fort Monroe, Va. : 

First lieutenant and adjutant of Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers, 
Edward P. Brooks, is a prisoner of war at Richmond, and if you 
can without difficulty, effect a special exchange for him, I shall be 
obliged. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, March 17, 1864. 

Major-General Rosecrans, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

Suspend execution of death sentence of John F. Abshier, citizen, 
until further orders. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 

Please send the above dispatch. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 22, 1864. 

Major-General Butler, Fort Monroe, Va.: 

Hon. W. R. Morrison says he has requested you by letter to 
effect a special exchange of Lieut. Col. A. F. Rogers, of Eightieth 
Illinois Volunteers, now in Libby Prison, and I shall be glad if you 
can effect it. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 22, 1864. 

Governor Evans, Denver, Col. Ter. : 

Colorado Enabling Act was signed yesterday by the President. 

Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 23, 1864. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

Please suspend execution of Alanson Orton, under sentence for 
desertion, until further order. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 24, 1864. 

Major-General Butler, Eort Monroe, Va. : 

Please, if you can, effect special exchanges for J. F. Robinson, 
first lieutenant, Company E, Sixty-seventh Pennsylvania Volun- 
teers, and C. L. Edmunds, first lieutenant, Company D, Sixty- 
seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

March 24, 1864. 
Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

Do not change your purpose to send Private Orton, of Twelfth 
U. S. Infantry, to the Dry Tortugas. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, March 30, 1864. 

Hon. R. M. Corwine, New York : 

It does not occur to me that you can present the Smith case any 
better than you have done. Of this, however, you must judge for 
yourself. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 5, 1864. 

His Excellency John Brough, Columbus, Ohio: 

The President has ordered the pardon of the soldiers of the 
Twelfth Ohio, in accordance with your request. John Hay. 

(This letter does appear in the Life by J. G. Nicolay and John 

(Cypher) Executive Mansion, 

Washington, April 6, 1864. 

Major-General Butler, Portress Monroe, Va.: 

The President directs me to acknowledge receipt of your die- 


patch of this morning and to say that you will submit by letter 
or telegram to the Secretary of War the points in relation to the 
exchange of prisoners wherein you wish instructions, and that it is 
not necessary for you to visit Washington for the purpose indi- 
cated. John Hay, 

Major and Assistant Adjutant-General. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 9, 1864. 

Major-General Meade, Army of the Potomac: . 

Suspend execution of Private William Collins, Company B, 
Sixty-ninth New York Volunteers, Irish Brigade, and class him 
with other suspended cases. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, April 11, 1864—6.15 p. m. 

Hon. W. H. Seward, Astor House, New York: 
Nothing of importance since you left. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, April 12, 1864. 

Major-General Butler, Fort Monroe, Va.: 

I am pressed to get from Libby, by special exchange, Jacob C. 
Hagenbuck, first lieutenant, Company H, Sixty-seventh Pennsyl- 
vania Volunteers. Please do it if you can without detriment or 
embarrassment. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 17, 1864. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac : 

Private William Collins of Company B, of the Sixty-ninth New 
York Volunteers, has been convicted of desertion, and execution 
suspended as in numerous other cases. Now Captain O'Neill, 
commanding the regiment, and nearly all its other regimental and 
company officers, petition for his full pardon and restoration to his 
company. Is there any good objection? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 18, 1864. 

Col. Paul Frank, of New York Fifty-second, Army of Potomac: 
Is there or has there been a man in your regiment by the name of 
Cornelius Garoin ? And if so, answer me as far as you know where 
he now is. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 20, 1864. 

Calvin Truesdale, Esq., Postmaster, Eock Island, 111. : 

Thomas J. Pickett, late agent of the Quartermaster's Department 
for the island of Eock Island, has been removed or suspended from 
that position on a charge of having sold timber and stone from the 
island for his private benefit. Mr. Pickett is an old acquaintance 
and friend of mine, and I will thank you, if you will, to set a day 
or days and place on and at which to take testimony on the point. 
Notify Mr. Pickett and one J. B. Danforth (who as I understand 
makes the charge) to be present with their witnesses. Take the 
testimony in writing offered by both sides, and report it in full to 
me. Please do this for me. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(From Herndon's "Life of Lincoln." Permission of Jesse Weik.) 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 20, 1864. 

Officer in Military Command, at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, 
Mass. : 
If there is a man by the name of Charles Carpenter, under sen- 
tence of death for desertion, at Fort Warren, suspend execution 
until further order and send the record of his trial. If sentenced 
for any other offence, telegraph what it is, and when he is to be 
executed. Answer at all events. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 21, 1864. 

Of,ficer in Military Command, at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, 
Mass. : 
The order I sent yesterday in regard to Charles Carpenter is 
hereby withdrawn, and you are to act as if it had never existed. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, April 21, 1864. 

Major-General Dix, New York: 

Yesterday I was induced to telegraph the officer in military com- 
mand at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, Mass., suspending the 
execution of Charles Carpenter, to be executed to-morrow for de- 
sertion. Just now on reading your order in the case, I telegraphed 
the same officer withdrawing the suspension, and leaving the case 
entirely with you. The man's friends are pressing me, but I refer 
them to you, intending to take no further action myself. 

A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
Washington, D. C, April 22, 1864. 

Brigadier -General Brayman, Commanding Cairo: 

What day did General Corse part with General Banks? 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, April 22, 1864. 

A. G. Hodges, Esq., Frankfort, Ky.: 
Did you receive my letter ? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 23, 1864. 

Major-General Butler, Eort Monroe, Va. : 

Senator Ten Eyck is very anxious to have a special exchange 
of Capt. Frank J. McLean, of Ninth Tennessee Cavalry now, or 
lately at Johnson's Island, for Capt. T. Ten Eyck, Eighteenth 
U. S. Infantry, and now at Richmond. I would like to have it 
done. Can it be? A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, April 25, 1864. 

John Williams, Springfield, 111.: 

Yours of the 15th is just received. Thanks for your kind re- 
membrance. I would accept your offer at once, were it not that 
I fear there might be some impropriety in it, though I do not 
see that there would. I will think of it a while. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, April 25, 1864. 

Ma jor-General Meade, Army of Potomac : 

A Mr. Corby brought you a note from me at the foot of a peti- 
tion I believe, in the case of Dawson, to be executed to-day. The 
record has been examined here, and it shows too strong a case 
for a pardon or commutation, unless there is something in the poor 
man's favor outside of the record, which you on the ground may 
know, but I do not. My note to you only means that if you know 
of any such thing rendering a suspension of the execution proper, 
on your own judgment, you are at liberty to suspend it. Otherwise 
I do not interfere. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 26, 1864 

Major-General Thomas, Chattanooga, Tenn. : 

Suspend execution of death sentence of young Perry from Wis- 
consin, condemned for sleeping on his post, until further orders, 
and forward record for examination. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 27, 1864. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac : 

John J. Stefke, Company I, First New Jersey Cavalry, having 
a substitute, is ordered to be discharged. Please have him sent 
here to Washington. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, April 27, 1864. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac : 

Your dispatch about Private Peter Gilner received. Dispose of 
him precisely as you would under the recent order, if he were 
under sentence of death for desertion, and execution suspended 
by me. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 28, 1864. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

If Private George W. Sloan, of the Seventy-second Pennsyl- 
vania Volunteers, is under sentence of death for desertion, suspend 
execution till further order. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 29, 1864. 
General Brayman, Cairo, HI.: 

I am appealed to in behalf of O. Kellogg, and J. W. Pryor, both 
in prison at Cairo. Please telegraph me what are the charges and 
summary of evidence against them. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 30, 1864. 

Officer in Command, at Little Eock, Ark.: 

Please send me the record of trial for desertion of Thadeus A. 
Kinsloe, of Company D, Seventh Missouri Volunteer Cavalry. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 5, 1864. 

Major-General Rosecrans, Commanding, &c, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

The President directs me to inquire whether a day has yet been 
fixed for the execution of citizen Robert Louden, and if so what 
day? John Hay, 

Major and Assistant Adjutant- General. 

Executive Mansion, Washington, May 9, 1864. 

Mrs. Sarah B. Meconkey, West Chester, Pa. 

Madam : Our mutual friend, Judge Lewis tells me you do me the 
honor to inquire for my personal welfare. I have been very anx- 
ious for some days in regard to our armies in the field, but am 
considerably cheered, just now, by favorable news from them. I 
am sure that you will join me in the hope for their further suc- 
cess; while yourself, and other good mothers, wives, sisters, and 
daughters, do all you and they can, to relieve and comfort the gal- 
lant soldiers who compose them. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by Columbia University Library.) 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, May 10, 1864. 

Major-General Wallace, Baltimore: 

Please tell me what is the trouble with Dr. Hawks. Also please 
ask Bishop Whittington to give me his view of the case. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 14, 1864. 

Officer in Military Command at Fort Monroe, Va. : 

If Thomas Dorerty, or Welsh, is to be executed to-day and it is 
not already done, suspend it till further order. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 17, 1864. 

Officer in Command at Fort Monroe, Va. : 

If there is a man by the name of William H. H. Cummings, of 
Company H, Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers, within 
your command under sentence of death for desertion, suspend 
execution till further order. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 18, 1864. 

His Excellency Eichard Yates, Springfield, HI.: 
If any such proclamation has appeared, it is a forgery. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, May 19, 1864. 

Hon. Andrew Johnson, Nashville, Tenn. : 

Yours of the 17th was received yesterday. Will write you on 
the subject within a day or two. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 20, 1864. 

Felix Schmedding, Saint Louis, Mo.: 
The pleasure of attending your fair is not within my power. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, May 21, 1864. 

Mr. Stansbury, U. S. Sanitary Commission : 

Principal Musician John A. Burke, Fourteenth U. S. Infantry, 
has permission to accompany Capt. W. R. Smedburg, Fourteenth 
Infantry (wounded) to New York. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, May 21, 1864. 

Christiana A. Sack, Baltimore, Md. : 

I cannot postpone the execution of a convicted spy on a mere 
telegraphic dispatch signed with a name I never heard before. 
General Wallace may give you a pass to see him if he chooses. 

A. Lincoln 

War Department, 

May 23, 1864. 
To the Commanding Officer at Fort Monroe: 

Is a man named Henry Sack to be executed to-morrow at noon! 
If so, when was he condemned and for what offense ? 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, May 24, 1864. 

To the Commanding Officer at Fort Monroe, Va. : 

Let the execution of Henry Sack be suspended. I have com* 
muted his sentence to imprisonment during the war. 

A. Lincoln. 
Major Eckert: 

Please send this at once. Tours, 

John Hay, 
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 25, 1864. 

Major-General Meade, Army of Potomac: 

Mr. J. C. Swift wishes a pass from me to follow your army to 
pick up rags and cast off clothing. I will give it to him if you 
say so, otherwise not. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 30, 1864. 

Colonel Dutton, Old Point Comfort, Va.: 

Colonel Dutton is permitted to come from Fort Monroe to Wash- 
ington. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May 31, 1864. 

Ma jor-General Hurlbut, Belvidere, HI. : 
You are hereby authorized to visit Washington and Baltimore, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, June 4, 1864. 

Ma jor-General Dix, New York: 

Please inform me whether Charles H. Scott, of Eighth U. S. In- 
fantry, is under sentence of death in your department? and if so 
when to be executed and what are the features of the case ? 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, June 6, 1864. 

Major-General Meade, Army of the Potomac: 

Private James McCarthy, of the One hundred and fortieth New 
York Volunteers, is here under sentence to the Dry Tortugas for 


an attempt to desert. His friends appeal to ine and if his colonel 
and you consent, I will send him to his regiment. Please answer. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, June 7, 1864. 

Major-General Rosecrans, Saint Louis, Mo. : 

When your communication shall be ready send it by express, 
There will be no danger of its miscarriage. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, June 13, 1864. 
Thomas Webster, Philadelphia: 

Will try to leave here Wednesday afternoon, say at 4 p. m. re- 
main till Thursday afternoon and then return. This subject to 
events. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, June 18, 1864. 
0. A. Walborn, Post Master Philadelphia : 
Please come and see me in the next day or two. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, June 19, 1864. 

Mrs. A. Lincoln, Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York: 

Tad arrived safely and all well. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, June 27, 1864. 
Colonel Bascom, Assistant Adjutant-General, Knoxville, Tenn.: 
Please suspend sale of the property of Rogers & Co., until fur- 
ther order. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, June 28, 1864. 

Officer in Command at Fort Monroe, Va. : 

Is there a man by the name of Amos Tenney in your command, 
under sentence for desertion ? and if so suspend execution and send 
me the record. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, June 29, 1864. 

Lieutenant- General Grant, City Point: 

Dr. Worstei wishes to visit you with a view of getting your 
permission to introduce into the army "Harmon's Sandal Sodc* 
Shall I give him a pass for that object? A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
Washington, D. C, July 9, 1864. 

Major-General Rosecrans, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

When did the Secretary of War telegraph you to release Dr, 
Barrett ? If it is an old thing let it stand till you hear further. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 

July 20, 1864. 
J. L. Wright, Indianapolis, Ind. : 
All a mistake. Mr. Stanton has not resigned. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, July 27, 1864. 

Lieutenant-General Grant, City Point, Va. : 

Please have a surgeon's examination of Cornelius Lee ComygaS, 
in Company A, One hundred and eighty-third Volunteers, made 
on the questions of general health and sanity. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, July 28, 1864. 

Hon. J. W. Forney, Philadelphia, Penn.: 

I wish yourself and M. McMichael would see me here to-morrow, 
or early in the day Saturday. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, July 30, 1864. 

Major-General Hunter, Harper's Ferry, Va.: 
What news this morning? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, July 30, 1864. 
Hon. M. Odell, Brooklyn: 

Please find Colonel Fowler, of Fourteenth Volunteers, and have 
him telegraph, if he will, a recommendation for Clemens J. Myers, 
for a clerkship. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, August 1, 1864. 

Governor E. D. Morgan, Saratoga Springs, N. Y. : 
Please come here at once. I wish to see you. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 5, 1864. 

Governor Pierpoint, Alexandria, Va.: 

General Butler telegraphs me that Judge Snead is at liberty. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, August 6, 1864. 

Col. S. M. Bowman, Baltimore, Md.: 
If convenient come and see me. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, August 6, 1864. 

Hon. Anson Miller, Eockford, HI.: 

If you will go and live in New Mexico I will appoint you a 
judge there. Answer. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 6, 1864. 

Hon. Horace Greeley, New York: 

Yours to Major Hay about publication of our correspondence 
received. With the suppression of a few passages in your letters 
in regard to which I think you and I would not disagree, I should 
be glad of the publication. Please come over and see me. 

A. Lincoln. 

(This letter does appear in the Life by John G. Nicolay and 
John Hay.) 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 8, 1864. 

Hon. Horace Greeley, New York: 

I telegraphed you Saturday. Did you receive the dispatch? 
Please answer. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, August 8, 1864. 
Hon. I. N. Arnold, Chicago : 

I send you by mail to-day the appointment of Colonel Mulligan, 
to be a brevet brigadier-general. A. Lincoln. 


August 15, 1864. 
•*I am always for the man who wishes to work; and I shall be 


glad for this man to get suitable employment at Cavalry Depot, 
or elsewhere. A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by C. E. Gunther, Chicago, 111.) 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, August 18, 1864. 

Governor Andrew Johnson, Nashville, Tenn. : 

The officer whose duty it would be to execute John S. Young, 
upon a sentence of death for murder, &c, is hereby ordered to sus- 
pend such execution until further order from me. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 18, 1864. 

George W. Bridges, Colonel Tenth Tennessee Volunteers, Nash- 
ville, Tenn.: 
If Governor Andrew Johnson thinks execution of sentence in 
case of William R. Bridges should be further suspended, and will 
request it, the President will order it. 

Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 20, 1864. 

Commanding Officer at Nashville, Tenn. : 

Suspend execution of death sentence of Patrick Jones, Company 
E, Twelfth Tennessee Cavalry, until further orders and forward 
record for examination. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 
Please send above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, August 20, 1864. 

Major-General Butler, Bermuda Hundred, Va.: 

Please allow Judge Snead to go to his family on Eastern Shore, 
or give me some good reason why not. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
August 21, 1864—3 p. m. 

Colonel Chipman, Harper's Eerry, Va.: 

What news now? A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
Washington City, August 24, 1864. 

Mrs. Mary McCook Baldwin, Nashville, Term. : 

This is an order to the officer having in charge to execute the 
death sentence upon John S. Young, to suspend the same until 
further order. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 26, 1864. 

Governor Johnson, Nashville, Term.: 

Thanks to General Gillam for making the news and also to you 
for sending it. Does Joe Heiskell's "walking to meet us" mean 
any more than that " Joe " was scared and wanted to save his skin ? 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C., August 28, 1864. 

Major-General Wallace, Baltimore, Md. : 

The punishment of the four men under sentence of death to 
be executed to-morrow at Baltimore, is commuted in each case to 
confinement in the Penitentiary at hard labor during the war. 
You will act accordingly. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, August 30, 1864. 

Hon. B. H. Brewster, Astor House, New York: 

Your letter of yesterday received. Thank you for it. Please have 
no fears. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, September 5, 1864. 

Hon. Henry J. Raymond, New York: 

Have written about Indiana matters. Attend to it to-morrow. 

E. B. Washburne. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 7, 1864. 

Governor Johnson, Nashville, Tenn.: 

This is an order to whatever officer may have the matter in 
charge, that the execution of Thomas R. Bridges be respited to 
Friday, September 30, 1864. A. Lincoln, 



War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 7, 1864. 

Governor Johnson, Nashville, Tenn.: 

This is an order to whatever officer may have the matter in 
charge that the execution of Jesse T. Broadway and Jordon Mose- 
ley, is respited to Friday September 30, 1864. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, September 8, 1864. 

Governor Smith, Providence, R. I.: 

Yours of yesterday about Edward Conley received. Don't re- 
member receiving anything else from you on the subject. Please 
telegraph me at once the grounds on which you request his pun- 
ishment to be (commuted. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 8, 1864. 

Governor Pickering, Olympia, W. T. : 

Your patriotic dispatch of yesterday received and will be pub- 
ished. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 8, 1864. 

General Slough, Alexandria, Va.: 

Edward Conley's execution is respited to one week from to- 
morrow. Act accordingly. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, September 9, 1864. 

Isaac M. Schemerhorn, Buffalo, N. Y e : 

Yours of to-day received. I do not think the letter you mention 
has reached me. I have no recollection of it. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C., September 11, 1864. 

Mrs. A. Lincoln, New York: 

All well. What day will you be home? Four days ago sent 
dispatch to Manchester. Vt., for you. A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 13, 1864. 

Hon. J. G. Blaine, Augusta, Me.: 

On behalf of the Union, thanks to Maine. Thanks to you per- 
sonally for sending the news. A. Lincoln. 

P. S. — Send same to L. B. Smith and M. A. Blanchard, Port- 
land, Me. A. L. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 13, 1864. 

Major-General Eosecrans, Saint Louis: 

Postpone the execution of S. H. Anderson for two weeks. Hear 
what his friends can say in mitigation and report to me. 

A. Lincoln. 
Major Eckert: 

Please send the above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 13, 1864. 

Major-General Eosecrans, Saint Louis: 

Postpone the execution of Joseph Johnson for two weeks. Ex^ 
amine the case and report. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 
Please send the above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 15, 1864 

Major H. H. Heath, Baltimore, Md.: 
You are hereby authorized to visit Washington. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 16, 1864. 

General Slough, Alexandria, Va.: 

On the 14th I commuted the sentence of Conley, but fearing 
you may not have received notice I send this. Do not execute him. 

A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 16, 1864. 

Hon. William Sprague, Providence, R. I. : 
I commuted the sentence of Conley two days ago. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 16, 1864. 

Major-General Sigel, Bethlehem, Pa.: 

You are authorized to visit Washington on receipt of this. 

A, Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

September 20, 1864. 

Major-General Meade, Headquarters Army Potomac: 

If you have not executed the sentence in the °ase of Private 
Peter Gilner, Company F, Sixty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers, 
let it be suspended until further orders. Report to me. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 24, 1864. 

Frank W. Bollard, New York: 
I shall be happy to receive the deputation you mention. 

A. Lincoln* 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 25, 1864. 

George H. Bragonier, Commanding at Cumberland, Md. : 

Postpone the execution of Private Joseph Provost, until Friday 
the 30th instant. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 25, 1864. 

H. W. Hoffman, Baltimore, Md.: 
Please come over and see me to-morrow, or as soon as convenient. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 27, 1864. 

Governor Johnson, Nashville, Tenn.: 

I am appealed to in behalf of Robert Bridges, who it is said 
is to be executed next Friday. Please satisfy yourself, and give 
me your opinion as to what ought be done. A. Lincoln. 



War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 28, 1864. 

Officer in Command at Nashville, Tenn. : 

Exeteution of Jesse A. Broadway is hereby respited to Friday 
the 14th day of October next. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 29, 1864. 

Officer in Command at Nashville, Tenn. : 

Let the execution of Robert T. Bridges be suspended until fur- 
ther order from me. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 30, 1864. 

Major-General Butler, Bermuda Hundred, Va.: 

Is there a man in your department by the name of James Hal- 
lion, under sentence, and if so what is the sentence, and for what? 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 1, 1864. 

Officer in Command at Fort Monroe, Ya. : 

Is there a man by the name James Hallion (I think) under 
sentence? And what is his offense? What the sentence, and 
when to be executed? A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 5, 1864. 

Officer in Command, at Nashville, Tenn. : 

Suspend execution of Thomas K. Miller until further order from 
me. A. Lincoln 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 10, 186^ — 5 p. m. 

Governor Cubtin, Harrisburg, Pa.: 

Yours of to-day just this moment received, and the Secretary 
having left it is impossible for me to answer to-day. I have not 
received your letter from Erie. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, October 11, 1864. 

General S. Cameron, Philadelphia, Pa.: 
Am leaving office to go home. How does it stand now? 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 

October 12, 1864. 

Major-General Meade, Headquarters Army of the Potomac: 

The President directs suspension of execution in case of Albert 
G. Lawrence, Sixteenth Massachusetts Volunteers, until his fur- 
ther order. John Hay, 
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. O, October 13, 1864. 

Hon. G. S. Orth, Lafayette, Ind.: 

I now incline to defer the appointment of judge until the meet- 
ing of Congress. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 13, 1864. 

Commandant at Nashville, Tenn.: 

The sentence of Jesse Broadway has been commuted by the 
President to imprisonment at hard labor for three years. 

John Hay, 
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. O, October 15, 1864. 

Hon. H. W. Hoffman, Baltimore, Md. : 
Come over to-night and see me. A. Lincoln, 

War Department, 
Washington, D. O, October 16, 1864. 

Hon. J. K Moorehead, Pittsburg, Pa.: 

I do not remember about the Peter Gilner case, and must look 
it up before I can answer. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. O, October 22, 1864. 

William Price, District Attorney, Baltimore, Md. : 

Yours received. Will see you any time when you present your* 
self. A. Lincoln. 

ExECUTrvE Mansion, 
Washington, D. O, October 25, 1864. 

Officer in Command at Nashville, Tenn. : 

Suspend execution of Young C. Edmonson, until further order 
from here. Answer if you receive this. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 25, 1864. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Kobinson, of Third Maryland Battalion, 
near Petersburg, Va. : 

Please inform me what is the condition of, and what is being 
done with Lieut. Charles Saumenig, in your command. 

A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) Executive Mansion, 

Washington, October 30, 1864. 

Hon. A. K. McClure, Harrisburg, Pa.: 
I would like to hear from you. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, October 31, 1864. 

Hon. Thomas T. Davis, Syracuse, N. Y.: 

I have ordered that Milton D. Norton be discharged on taking 
the oath. Please notify his mother. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 1, 1864. 

Major-General Dix, New York: 

Please suspend execution of Private P. Carroll until further 
order. Acknowledge receipt. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 1, 1864. 

Hon. A. Hobbs, Malone, N. Y.: 
Where is Nathan Wilcox, of whom you telegraph, to be found? 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 2, 1864. 

Lieutenant-General Grant, City Point: 

Suspend until further order the execution of Nathan Wilcox of 
Twenty -second Massachusetts Regiment Fifth Corps, said to be 
at Repair Depot. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, November 2, 1864. 

Hon. H. J. Raymond and General W. K. Strong, New York: 

Telegraphed General Dix last night to suspend execution of P. 
Carroll, and have his answer that the order is received by him. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 3, 1864. 

Officer in Command at Lexington, Ky.: 

Suspend execution of Vance Mason until further order. Ac- 
knowledge receipt. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 3, 1864. 
Major-General Meade: 

Suspend execution of Samuel J. Smith, and George Brown, 
alias George Rock, until further order and send record. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 4, 1864. 

Major-General Burbridge, Lexington, Ky.: 

Suspend execution of all the deserters ordered to be executed 
on Sunday at Louisville, until further order, and send me the 
records in the cases. Acknowledge receipt. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 5, 1864. 

Officer in Command at Chattanooga, Term. : 

Suspend execution of Robert W. Reed until further order and 
send record. Answer. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 5, 1864. 

Hon. W. H. Seward, Auburn, N. Y. : 
No news of consequence this morning. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. O, November 10, 1864. 

Major-General Rosecrans, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

Suspend execution of Major Wolf until further order and mean* 
while report to me on the case. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. O, November 10, 1864. 

H. W. Hoffman, Baltimore, Md. : 

The Maryland soldiers in the Army of the Potomac cast a 
total vote of 1428, out of which we get 1160 majority. This is 
directly from General Meade and General Grant. A. Lincoln. 


(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, November 15, 1864. 

Major-General Thomas, Nashville, Tenn.: 
How much force and artillery had Gillem? A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, November 15, 1864. 

W. H. Purnell, Baltimore, Md.: 

I shall be happy to receive the committee on Thursday morning 
(17th) as you propose. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 19, 1864. 

Officer in Command at Davenport, Iowa: 

Let the Indian " Big Eagle " be discharged. I ordered this 
some time ago. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, November 24, 1864. 

Hon. Henry M. Rice, Saint Paul, Minn.: 

Have suspended execution of deserters named in your dispatch 
until further orders from here. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, November 24, 1864. 

Officer in Command at Fort Snelling, Minn. : 

Suspend execution of Patrick Kelly, John Lennor, Joel H. 
Eastwood, Thomas J. Murray, and Hoffman until further order 
from here. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 26, 1864. 
Major-General Rosecrans : 

Please telegraph me briefly on what charge and evidence Mrs. 
Anna B. Martin has been sent to the Penitentiary at Alton. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 5, 1864. 

Major-General Thomas, Nashville, Tenn. : 

Let execution in the case of Oliver B. Wheeler, sergeant in the 
Sixth Regiment, Missouri Volunteers, under sentence of death 



for desertion at Chattanooga, on the 15th instant, be suspended 
until further order, and forward record for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 
Major Eckert: 
Please forward the above. Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 7, 1864. 

Governor Hall, Jefferson City, Mo.: 

Complaint is made to me of the doings of a man at Hannibal, 
Mo., by the name of Haywood, who, as I am told has charge of 
some militia force, and is not in the U. S. service. Please inquire 
into the matter and correct anything you may find amiss if in 
your power. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, December 8, 1864. 

Colonel Fasleioh, Louisville, Ky.: 

I am appealed to in behalf of a man by the name of Frank 
Fairbairns, said to have been for a long time, and still in prison, 
without any definite ground stated. How is it? 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

December 8, 1864. 

Major-General Eosecrans, Commanding, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

Let execution in case of John Berry and James Berry be sus- 
pended until further order. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 

Will you please hurry off the above? To-morrow is the day of 
execution. John Hay, 

Assistant Adjutant-General. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 14, 1864. 

Lieuten ant-General Grant, City Point, Va. : 

Please have execution of John McNulty, alias Joseph Riley, 
Company E, Sixth New Hampshire Volunteers, suspended and 
record sent to me. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 16, 1864. 

Officer in Command at Chattanooga, Tenn. : 

It is said that Harry Walters, a private in the Anderson cav- 
alry, is now and for a long time has been in prison at Chattanooga. 
Please report to me what is his condition, and for what he is im- 
prisoned. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 20, 1864. 

Major-General Wallace, Baltimore, Md, : 

Suspend execution of James P. Boilean until further order from 
here. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 22, 1864. 

Offiuer in Command at Saint Joseph, Mo. : 

Pobtpone the execution of Higswell, Holland, and Way, for 
twenty days. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 22, 1864. 

Officer in Command at Indianapolis, Ind. : 

Postpone the execution of John Doyle Lennan, alias Thomas 
Doyle, for ten days. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 28, 1864. 

Officer in Command at Nashville, Tenn. : 

Suspend execution of James R. Mallory, for six weeks from Fri- 
day the 30th of this month, which time I have given his friends 
to make proof, if they can, upon certain points. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 29, 1864. 
Major-General Butler: 

Tfeere is a man in Company I, Eleventh Connecticut Volunteers, 
First Brigade, Third Division, Twenty-fourth Army Corps, at 
Chain's Farm, Va., under the assumed name of William Stanley, 


but whose real name is Frank R. Judd, and who is tinder arrest, 
and probably about to be tried for desertion. He is the son of our 
present minister to Prussia, who is a close personal friend of 
Senator Trumbull and myself. We are not willing for the boy 
to be shot, but we think it as well that his trial go regularly on, 
suspending execution until further order from me and reporting 
to me. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 29, 1864. 

Officer in Command at Louisville, Ky. : 

Suspend execution of death sentence of George S. Owen, until 
further orders, and forward record of trial for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 
Please send the above telegram. Yours, 

Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 30, 1864- 

Colonel Warner, Indianapolis, Ind.: 

It is said that you were on the court martial that tried John 
Lennon, and that you are disposed to advise his being pardoned 
and sent to his regiment. If this be true, telegraph me to that 
effect at once. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 31, 1864. 

Col. A. J. Warner, Indianapolis, Ind.: 

Suspend execution of John Lennon until further order from 
me and in the meantime send me the record of his trial. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 4, 1865. 

John Williams, Springfield, 111.: 

Let Trumbo's substitute be regularly mustered in, send me 
the evidence that it is done and I will then discharge Trumbo. 

&. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington., January 6, 1865. 

Lieutenant-General Grant, City Point: 

If there is a man at City Point by the name of Waterman 
Thornton who is in trouble about desertion, please have his case 
briefly stated to me and do not let him be executed meantime. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 9 ff 1865. 

Officer in Command at Saint Joseph, Mo. : 

Postpone the execution of the death sentence of Holland, High- 
smith, and Utz, ten days longer unless you receive orders from m€ 
to the contrary. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 
Please send the above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolay. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, January 11, 1865. 

Officer in Command at Nashville, Tenn. : 

Postpone the execution of S. W. Elliott, and C. E. Peacher, until 
the 3rd day of February, 1865. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 12, 1865. 

Officer in Command at Lexington, Ey. : 

Suspend execution of sentence of death in case of Solomon 
Spiegel, Ninth Michigan Cavalry, until further orders and for- 
ward record of trial for examination. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 
Please send the above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 12, 1865. 

Lieutenant-General Grant, City Point, Va.: 

If Henry Stork of Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry, has been con- 
victed of desertion, and is not yet executed, please stay till further 
order and send record. A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 19, 1865. 

Major-General Dodge, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

If Mrs. Beattie, alias Mrs. Wolff, shall be sentenced to death, 
notify me, and postpone execution till further order. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 19, 1865. 
Major-General Ord: 

You have a man in arrest for desertion passing by the name of 
Stanley. William Stanley, I think, but whose real name is dif- 
ferent. He is the son of so close a friend of mine that I must 
not let him be executed. Please let me know what is his present 
and prospective condition. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 20, 1865. 

Major-General Dk, New York: 
Let W. N. Bilbo be discharged on his parole. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 20, 1865. 

Lieutenant-General Grant, City Point, Va.: 

If Thomas Samplogh, of the First Delaware Regiment has been 
sentenced to death, and is not yet executed, suspend and report the 
case to me. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 21, 1865. 

Major-General Wallace, Baltimore, Md. : 

Two weeks or ten days ago, as I remember, I gave direction for 
Levin L. Waters to be either tried at once or discharged. If he 
has not been tried, nor a trial of him progressing in good faith 
discharge him at once. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 22, 1865. 

Major-General Wallace, Baltimore, Md.: 

The case of Waters being as you state it, in your dispatch of to- 
day, of course the trial will proceed. A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
Washington, D. C, January 23, 1865. 

W. O. Bartlett, Esq., New York: 
Please come and see me at once. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 24, 1865. 

Lieutenant-General Grant, City Point: 

If Newell W. Root, of First Connecticut Heavy Artillery, is 
under sentence of death please telegraph me briefly the circum- 
stances. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 25, 1865. 

Officer in Command at Nashville, Tenn.: 

Do not allow Elliott, under sentence of death to be exe- 
cuted without further order from me, and if an exchange of him 
for Capt. S. T. Harris, now a prisoner, supposed to be at Columbia, 
S. C, can be effected, let it be done. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, January 25, 1865. 

Lieutenant-General Grant, City Point, Va.: 

Having received the report in the case of Newell W. Root, I do 
not interfere further in the case. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 26, 1865. 
Lieutenant-General Grant : 

Suspend execution of death sentence of William H. Jeffs, Com- 
pany B, Eifty-sixth Massachusetts Volunteers, until further or- 
ders, and forward record of trial for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 
Major Eckert: 

Please send the above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolav, 

Private Secretary. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 26, 1865. 
Lieutenant-General Grant: 

Suspend execution of Hamel Shaffer ordered to be shot at City 
Point to-morrow, until further orders and forward record of trial 
for examination. A. Lincoln. 


Major Eckeet: 

Please send the above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 27, 1865. 
Lieutenant-General Grant : 

Stay execution in case of Barney Koorke, Fifteenth New York 
Engineers, until record can be examined here. A. Lincoln. 

Send above dispatch and oblige. John Hay, 

Assistant Adjutant-General. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 27, 1865. 

To the Commanding Officer at Nashville, Tenn. : 

Let execution in case of Cornelius E. Peacher, be stayed until 
further orders. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 28, 1865. 

Major-General Ord, Army of the James: 

Give me a brief report in case of Charles Love, Seventh New 
Hampshire, tried for desertion, and transmit record for my ex- 
amination. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, January 30, 1865. 
Major-General Ord, Headquarters Army of the James : 

By direction of the President you are instructed to inform the 
three gentlemen, Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, that 
a messenger will be dispatched to them at or near where they 
now are, without unnecessary delay. Edwin M. Stanton, 

Secretary of War. 

(This letter does appear in the Life by J. G. Nicolay and John 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, January 31, 1865. 

Major-General Wallace, Baltimore, Md.: 

Suspend sending off of Charles E. Waters, until further order 
and send record if it has not already been sen* 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 31, 1865. 

Major-General Wallace, Baltimore, Md. : 

Your second dispatch in regard to Waters is received. The 
President's dispatch of this morning did not refer to Levin T, 
Waters, but to a man who it was represented had been convicted 
by a military commission of unlawful trade with the rebels or 
something of that kind, and was to be sent this morning to the 
Albany Penitentiary. His A :ame was given as Charles E. Waters. 
If such prisoner is on his way North let him be brought back and 
held as directed in the President's dispatch. 

Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 31, 1865. 

Officer in Command at Philadelphia, Pa. : 

Suspend execution of death sentence of John Murphy, ordered 
for February 10, 1865, at Fort Mifflin, until further orders and for- 
ward record of trial for examination. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 
Please forward above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 1, 1865. 

General Shepley, Norfolk, Va.: 

It is said that Henry W. Young, private in Sixty-third New 
York Volunteers, Company E, is in arrest for desertion. If he v 
shall be tried and sentenced to any punishment, do not let sentence 
be executed until further order from me, meantime send me 
record of the trial. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 2, 1865. 

Officer in Command at Frankfort, Ky. : 

Suspend execution of death sentence of W. E. Walker until 
further orders, and forward record of trial for examination. 

A. Lincoln, 
Major Eckert: 
Please send the above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 


Executive Mansion 
Washington, February 4, 1865. 

Officer in Command at Nashville, Tenn. : 

Suspend execution of death sentence of James R. Mallory, until 
further orders. A. Lincoln. 

Please send the above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolav. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, February 6, 1865. 

Frederick Hassaurek, Cincinnati, Ohio: 

A dispatch from General Grant says " Lieutenant Markbeit has 
been released from prison and is now on his way North." 

A. Lincoln. 

To Lieutenant-General Grant, Headquarters Armies of the 
United States : 
Suspend execution in case of Simon J. Schaffer, Fifteenth New 
York Engineers, until further orders, and send me the record. 

A. Lincoln. 

Send above. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 7, 1865. 

Officer in Command at Davenport, Iowa: 

Suspend execution of death sentence of John Davis, alias John 
Lewis, until further orders and forward record of trial for exam- 
ination. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 
Please send the above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolat. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 8, 1865. 

Hare Hoyt, Esq., 28 Spruce Street, New York: 

The President has received your dispatch asking an interview 
He cannot appoint any specific day or hour, but your delegation 
may come at their own convenience and he will see them as soon 
as he possibly can after their arrival. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 9, 1865. 

Major-General Cadwallader, Philadelphia: 

Please suspend execution in case of Thomas Adams, One hun- 
dred and eighty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and send record 
to me. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 
Please send above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolat. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 9, 1865. 

Commanding-General Sixth Army Corps : 

Suspend the execution of the sentence of Private James L. 
Hycks, Sixty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, until further 
orders. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 

The President requests that you will send the above. The man 
was to have been executed on 10th instant. 

Ed. D. Neill, 
Secretary to President, United States, &c. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 9, 1865. 

Lieutenant-General Grant: 

Suspend execution of death sentence of Hugh F. Riley, Eleventh 
Massachusetts Volunteers, now in front of Petersburg, until fur- 
ther orders, and forward record for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 
Major Eckert: 

Please send above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolat. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 9, 1865. 

His Excellency John A. Andrew, Governor of Massachusetts, 
Boston, Mass. : 

The President has to-day sent a dispatch ordering that the exe- 
cution of Hugh F. Riley, Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers, be 
suspended until further orders and the record forwarded for ex- 
amination. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 11, 1865. 

Major-General Ord, Army of James: 

Suspend execution of sentence in case of Maj. T. C. Jameson 
and send me the record. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 11, 1865. 

Col. P. B. Hawkins, Frankfort, Ky. : 

General Burbridge may discharge W. E. Waller, if he thinks fit. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 12, 1865. 

Major-General Hooker, Cincinnati, Ohio: 

Is it Lieut. Samuel B. Davis whose death sentence is com- 
muted? If not done, let it be done. Is there not an associate of 
his also in trouble ? Please answer. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 13, 1865. 
Major-General Sheridan : 

Suspend execution of sentence in case of James Lynch, alia* 
Hennessy, until further orders and send record to me. Please ac- 
knowledge receipt of this. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 

Please send above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 14, 1865. 

To the Commanding Officer, Davenport, Iowa: 

Suspend execution of death sentence of John C. Brown, alia9 
William A. Craven, and of John Ble, alias Cohoe, until further 
orders and send records for examination. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 
Please send the above dispatch. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary, 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 14, 1865. 
Major-General Sheridan: 

Suspend execution of death sentence of James Brown, fixed for 
the 17th instant at Harper's Ferry, until further orders, and for- 
ward record for examination. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 

Please send above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Washington, February 15, 1865. 
Major-General Sheridan: 

Suspend execution in case of Luther T. Palmer, Fifth New 
York Artillery, for fourteen days and send record to me for ex- 
amination. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 15, 1865. 
Major-General Sheridan : 

Suspend execution of death sentence of William Randall, at 
Harper's Ferry, of Fifth New York Heavy Artillery, until further 
orders and forward record of trial for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 
Major Eckert: 

Please send the above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 16, 1865. 
Lieuten ant-General Grant: 

Suspend execution of death sentence of George W. Brown, Com- 
pany A, Fifteenth New York Engineers, now at City Point, until 
further orders and forward record for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 
Major Eckert: 
Please send the above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 16, 1865. 
Lieutenant-General Grant : 

Suspend execution of death sentence of Charles Love, Seventh 
New Hampshire Volunteers, at City Point, until further orders and 
forward record for examination. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert : 
Please send the above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolay. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 17, 186? 

Officer in Command at Davenport, Iowa : 

Suspend execution of death sentence of William A. Craven, for 
four weeks and forward record for examination. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 
Please send above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 17, 1865. 

Officer in Command at Harper's Ferry : 

Chaplain Fitzgibbon yesterday sent me a dispatch invoking 
clemency for Jackson, Stewart and Kandall, who are to be shot 
to-day. The dispatch is so vague that there is no means here of 
ascertaining whether or not the execution of sentence of one or 
more of them may not already have been ordered. If not suspend 
execution of sentence in their cases until further orders and for- 
ward records of trials for examination. A. Lincoln. 

Major Eckert: 

Please send above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 20, 1865. 

Officer in Command at Davenport, Iowa : 

Suspend execution of Henry Cole, alias Henry Coho, until fur- 
ther order and send record. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 22, 1865. 

Officer in Command at Lexington, Ky. : 
Send forthwith record of the trial of C K. Johnson. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 23, 1865. 
Lieutenant-General Grant : 

Suspend execution of death sentence of George A. Maynard, 
Company A, Forty-sixth New York Veteran Volunteers, until 
further orders and forward record for examination. 

A. Lincoln. 
Major Eckert: 

Please send the above telegram. Jno. G. Nicolay, 

Private Secretary. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 24, 1865. 

Major- General Pope, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

Please inquire and report to me whether there is any propriety 
of longer keeping in Gratiott Street Prison a man said to be 
there by the name of Kiley Whiting. A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 28, 1865. 

Commanding Officer, Harper's Ferry, Va. : 

Let the sentence in case of Luther T. Palmer be suspended till 
further order. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) War Department, 

Washington, D. C, March 6, 1865 

Hon. David Tod, Cleveland, Ohio: 

I have yours about Grannis, and am compelled to say there is a 
complication in the way. A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, March 9, 1865, 

W. O. Bartlett, Philadelphia (probably at Continental) : 
It will soon be too late if you are not here. A. Lincoln. 

Washington, March 13, 1865, 
Hon. Henry T. Bl;>w, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

A Miss E. Snodgrass, who was banished from Saint Louis in 
May, 1863, wishes to take the oath and return home. What say 
you? A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 16, 1865. 
Major-General Ord: 

Suspend execution of Lieut. Henry A. Meek, of First U. S. Col- 
ored Cavalry, until further order from here. Answer. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, March 17, 1865. 

Col. R M. Hough and Others, Chicago, 111. : 

Yours received. The best I can do with it is to refer it to the 
War Department. The Kock Island case referred to, was my 



individual enterprise, and it caused so much difficulty in. so mans 
ways that I promised to never undertake another. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, May [March] 20, 1865. 

Major-GeneuAL Ord, Army of the James: 

Is it true that George W. Lane is detained at Norfolk without 
any charge against him? And if so why is it done? 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 23, 1865. 

General Dodge, Commanding, &c, Saint Louis, Mo.: 

Allow Mrs. K. S. Ewell the benefit of my amnesty proclamation 
on her taking the oath. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

March 25, 1865. (Keceived 5 p. m.) 

Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War: 

I am here within five miles of the scene of this morning's action. 
I have nothing to add to what General Meade reports except that 
I have seen the prisoners myself and they look like there might 
be the number he states — 1,600. A. Lincoln. 

City Point, Va., March 26, 1865. (Received 11.30 a. m.) 
Hon. Secretary of War: 

I approve your Fort Sumter programme. Grant don't seem to 
know Yeatman very well, but thinks very well of him so far as 
he knows. Thinks it probable that Y. is here now, for the place. 
I told you this yesterday as well as that you should do as you 
think best about Mr. Whiting's resignation, but 1 suppose you 
did not receive the dispatch. I am on the boat and have no later 
war news than went to you last night. A. Lincoln. 

City Point, Va., March 30, 1865—7.30 p. m. 
(Received 8.30 p. m.) 
Hon. Secretary of War: 

I begin to feel that I ought to be at home and yet I dislike 
to leave without seeing nearer to the end of General Grant's pres- 
ent movement. He has now been out since yesterday morning 
and although he has not been divested from his programme no 
considerable effort has yet been produced so far as we know here. 
Last night at 10.15 p. m. when it was dark as a rainy night with- 


out a moon could be, a furious cannonade soon joined in by a 
heavy musketry fire opened near Petersburg and lasted about two 
hours. The sound was very distinct here as also were the flashes 
of the guns up the clouds. It seemed to me a great battle, but 
the older hands here scarcely noticed it and sure enough this morn- 
ing it was found that very little had been done. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) City Point, Va., April 1, 1865—5.30 p. m. 

(Keceived 8.30 p. m.) 

Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War: 

Dispatch just received showing that Sheridan, aided by War- 
ren had at 2 p. m. pushed the enemy back so as to retake the five 
forks and bring his own headquarters up to I. Boisseans. The 
five forks were barricaded by the enemy and carried by Diven's 
division of cavalry. This part of the enemy seems to now be 
trying to work along the White Oak road to join the main force 
in front of Grant, while Sheridan and Warren are pressing them 
as closely as possible. A. Lincoln. 

City Point, Va., April 2, 1865. 
Mrs. Lincoln: 

At 4.30 p. m. to-day General Grant telegraphs that he has Peters- 
burg completely enveloped from river below to river above, and 
has captured since he started last Wednesday, about 12,000 pris- 
oners and 50 guns. He suggests that I shall go out and see him in 
the morning, which I think I will do. Tad and I are both well, 
and will be glad to see you and your party here at the time you 
name. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) City Point, Va., April 3, 1865—5 p. m. 

(Keceived 7 p. m.) 
Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War: 

Yours received. Thanks for your caution, but I have already 
been to Petersburg, stayed with General Grant an hour and a half 
and returned here. It is certain now that Richmond is in our 
hands, and I think I will go there to-morrow. I will take care of 
myself. A. Lincoln. 

(Cypher) City Point, Va., April 4, 1865—8 a. m. 

(Received 8.45 a. m.) 

Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War: 

General Weitzel telegraphs from Richmond that of railroad 
stock he found there, 28 locomotives, 44 passenger and baggage 
cars, and 106 freight cars. At 3.30 this evening General Grant from 
Southerland Station, 10 miles from Petersburg toward Burkes- 
ville telegraphs as follows : 


" General Sheridan picked up 1,200 prisoners to-day and from 
300 to 500 more have been gathered by other troops. The majority 
of the arms that were left in the hands of the remnant of Lee's 
army are now scattered between Richmond and where his troops 
are. The country is also full of stragglers, the line of retreat 
marked with artillery, ammunition burned or charred wagons, cais- 
sons, ambulances, &c." A. Lincoln. 

City Point, Va., April 5, 1865. (Keceived 11 : 55 p. m.) 
Hon. Secretary of State: 

Yours of to-day received. I think there is no probability of 
my remaining here more than two days longer. If that is too long 
come down. I passed last night at Richmond and have just re- 
turned. A. Lincoln. 

City Point, Va., April 7, 1865—8.35 a. m. 
(Received 10.30 a. m.) 
Hon. Secretary of War: 

At 11.15 p. m. yesterday at Burkesville Station, General Grant 
sends me the following from General Sheridan: 

" April 6—11.15 p. m. 
"Lieutenant-General Grant: 

" I have the honor to report that the enemy made a stand at the 
intersection of the Burks Station road with the road upon which 
they were retreating. I attacked them with two divisions of the 
Sixth Army Corps and routed them handsomely, making a connec- 
tion with the cavalry I am still pressing on with both cavalry and 
infantry. Up to the present time we have captured Generals Ewell, 
Kershaw, Button, Corse, DeBare, and Custus Lee, several thou- 
sand prisoners, 14 pieces of artillery with caissons and a large 
number of wagons. If the thing is pressed I think Lee will sur- 
render. " P. H. Sheridan, 

11 Major-General, Commanding. ,, 
A. Lincoln. 

City Point, April 7, 1865—9 a. m. 
(Received 10:30 a. m.) 
Hon. Secretary of War: 
The following further just received: 

"Burkesville, Va. 
"A. Lincoln: 

"The following telegrams respectfully forwarded for your in- 
formation: "U. S. Grant, 

" Lieutenant-General." 


" Second Army Corps, April 6—7.30 p. m. 
"Maj.-Gen. A. S. Webb: 

"Our last fight just before dark at Sailor's Creek gave us 2 
guns, 3 flags, considerable numbers of prisoners, 200 wagons, 70 
ambulances with mules and horses to about one-half the wagons 
and ambulances. There are between 30 and 50 wagons in addition 
abandoned and destroyed along the road, some battery wagons, 
forages, and limbers. I have already reported to you the capture 
of 1 gun, 2 flags and some prisoners, and the fact that the road for 
over 2 miles is strewed with tents, baggage, cooking utensils, some 
ammunition, some material of all kinds, the wagons across the 
approach to the bridges it will take some time to clear it. The 
enemy is in position on the heights beyond with artillery. The 
bridge partially destroyed and the approaches on other side are 
of soft bottom land. We cannot advance to-morrow in the same 
manner we have to-day. As soon as I get my troops up a little, 
we are considerably mixed, I might push a column down the road 
and deploy it but it is evident that I cannot follow rapidly during 
the night. "A. A. Humphreys, 

" Major-General." 
A. Lincoln. 

Head Quarters Armies of the United States, 
City Point, April 7, 11 a. m., 1865. 

Lieutenant-General Grant : 

Gen. Sheridan says " If the thing is pressed I think that Lee will 
surrender." Let the thing be pressed. A. Lincoln. 

(Original owned by C. F. Gunther of Chicago, HI.) 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 11, 1865. 

Brig. Gen. G. H. Gordon, Norfolk, Va.: 

Send to me at once a full statement as to the cause or causes 
for which, and by authority of what tribunal, George W. Lane, 
Charles Whitlock, Ezra Baker, J. M. Eenshaw, and others are 
restrained of their liberty. Do this promptly and fully. 

A. Lincoln. 



Abraham Lincoln, Ode for the Burial 
of, ii, 257. 

"Abraham, Father," ii, 169. 

Adams, Mr., ii, 25. 

Adams, Gen. James, i, 155-157. 

Adams, John Quincy, i, 207. 

Address to Border States representa- 
tives, ii, in. 

Address, first inaugural, ii, 6-12. 

— opinions of the press, ii, 12, 13. 

— second inaugural, ii, 221, 222. 
Administration, embarrassment of, ii, 


— military policy, ii, 53, 70, 93, 95, 
101, 194. 

Akers, Peter, Rev. Dr., sermon of, i, 

Allen, Dr. John, i, 9. 
Anderson, Robert, Gen., i, 80, 86, 90, 


— in command of Fort Sumter, ii, 

14, 15. 

— heroic defence, ii, 33, 230. 
Anti-slavery agitation, i, 35. 
Arms, i, 388, ii, 44. 

Armstrong, Jack, i, 63, 64, 107, 270. 
Armstrong murder, i, 270-273. 
Armstrong, Hannah, i, 107, 270, 271, 

Armstrong, William. (See Armstrong 

murder case.) 
Army of the Cumberland, ii, 145. 
Army of Northeastern Virginia, ii, 55. 
Army, increase of, ii, 43. 
Army of the Potomac, ii, 69. 

— inaction of, ii, 71, 86, 105, 127, 
133, 139. J 4o, 145, 150. 160, 162. 

Army of Virginia, ii, 129. 
Arnold, Isaac, ii, 46, in, 231. 
Arsenal, supplies of, ii, 44. 
Ashburn resolution, i, 214. 

Ashmun, George, i, 34$, 359 ; ii, 43. 

Atkinson, Gen., i, 75, 81-84. 
Atwood, of Philadelphia, i, 373. 


Bad Ax, battle of, i, 90. 
Bailhache, Wm. H., Major, i, 403. 
Baker, Edward D., Col., i, 133, 158, 

— nominated for Congress against Lin- 
coln, i, 194, 195, 202, 203, 212, 398; 
ii, 70, 71. 

Baker, Senator, of Oregon, ii, 5. 
Ball's Bluff, battle of, ii, 70, 71. 
Baltimore, plot in, i, 419. 
Bancroft, Frederick, i, 392. 
Banks, Gen., i, 347 ; ii, 58, 71. 
Banks, of Massachusetts, i, 347, 403. 
Baptist Licking Locust Ass., i, 35. 
Bartlett, D. W., i, 370. 
Bateman, Newton, Dr., i, 361. 
Bates, Edward, i, 347, 398, 402, 424. 
Beatty, George, i, 321. 
Beckwith, H. W., Judge, i, 251. 

— " Personal Recollections of Lin- 
coln," i, 252, 308. 

Beecher, Henry Ward, Rev., i, 304, 

322; ii, 230. 
Bell, Mr., i, 380, 386. 
Bennett, John, i, 137, 193, 204. 
Benton, Thomas H., i, 207. 
Berry, Lucy (Shipley), Mrs., aunt of 

Nancy Hanks, i, 8. 
Berry, Mr., of Boston, i, 373. 
Berry and Lincoln, store of, i, 9, 92. 

— tavern license, i, 94-96, 104, 108. 
Berry, Richard, i, 8, 10. 

Berry, Wm. F., i, 92. 
Birney, James G., i, 200. 
Bissell, Wm. H., Gen., i, 291. 

4 6 4 


Black Hawk. (See Black Hawk War.) 
Black Hawk War, i, 73-87. 

— prominent Americans engaged in, 
i, 90, 114, 211. 

Blaine, James G., Secretary, ii, 168. 
Blair, Francis P., i, 292, 349, 359 ; ii, 

— acts as peacemaker, ii, 209-210, 


Blair, Frank P., of Chicago, ii, 88. 

Blair, Montgomery, Postmaster-Gen- 
eral, i, 424, 425 ; ii, 20, 61, 64, 65, 


Blanchard, John, i, 208. 
Blodgett, Judge, i, 276, 277. 
Blondin, story of, ii, 92. 
Boal, Robert, Dr., i, 203. 
Bond, Ben., i, 166. 
Boone, Nathan, Col., i, 90. 
Booth, Junius Brutus, ii, 248. 
Booth, John Wilkes, ii, 199. 

— assassinates Lincoln, 238-240. 
Boutwell, George S., Gov., i, 349, 359, 

Bowles, Samuel, i, 349, 359, 370. 
Bragg, Braxton, Gen., ii, 182, 183. 
Brayman, Mason, Gen., i, 255, 259, 

Breckenridge, Gov., i, 380, 386. 
Breese, Sidney, Hon., i, 90. 
Bright, John, ii, 46. 
Broadwell, Judge, i, 177. 
Brokaw, Abraham, i, story of Lincoln's 

fees, 267, 268. 
Bromley, Isaac H., Mr., i, 343, 349. 
Brooks, Noah, i, 404 ; ii, 138. 
Brown, Gratz, i, 349 ; ii, 174. 
Brown, of Philadelphia, i, 373. 
Brown, Mrs., Dr., i, 176. 

— describes Lincoln's wedding, i, 190. 
Browning, O. H., Hon., i, 133, 158, 

229 ; ii, 9, 66. 
Browning, O. H., Mrs., i, 149, 150. 
Brumfield, Nancy (Lincoln), Mrs., i, 

Brumfield, William, i, 6. 
Bryant, John, i, 86, 144, 146. 
Bryant, William Cullen, i, 80, 86, 90, 


— editorial on Lincoln, i, 365, 370, 
380 ; ii, 178, 257. 

Buchanan, James T., President, i, 207, 
300-303, 407, 423. 

— escorts Lincoln to Capitol, ii, 2, 4, 
5, 15. 16. 

Buell, Gen., ii, 84, 143, 162. 

Bull Run, battle of, ii, 55, 56, 59, 60 

79. 150. 
Burner, Daniel Green, i, 108. 
Burner, Isaac, i, no. 
Burnside, Ambrose, Gen., return of, 

", 57- 

— relieves McClellan, ii, 133. 

— movements of, ii, 134, 135, 170, 181, 

Busey, S. C, Dr., personal reminis- 
cences and recollections, i, 208-210. 

Butler, Gen., ii, 58, 249. 

Butler, William, i, 91, 148, 180, 186, 

Butterfield, Justin, Gen., i, 230, 231 ; 
ii, 138. 

Cabinet, selecting the, i, 399-403, 423- 

425 ; ii, 18-22, 53, 70. 
Calhoun, John, i, 99, 122, 159, 197. 
Campaign of i860, delegation of, i, 


— nomination an accomplished fact, i, 

— demonstrations, i, 364. 

— opinions of the press, i, 365. 

— rail fence, i, 366. 

— Seward's ratification, i, 366-368. 

— speeches, i, 369. 

— tracts, i, 369. 

— clubs, i, 370. 

— songs, i, 371. 

— mass meetings, i, 372, 
Cameron, Rev. John, i, 107* 
Cameron, John, i, 60. 

Cameron, Simon, Secretary, i, 342, 
344, 347, 400, 425 ; ii, 43. 

— unfitness, ii, 76, 77. 

— relieved, ii, 78, 142. 
Cameron, Polly, Mrs., i, 107. 
Campbell, John A., ii, 210. 
Campbell, Thomas, i, 196, 197. 
Canby, Gen., ii, 219. 
Canfield, Robert W., i, 197. 
Capitol, the, ii, 2. 

Carman, Walter, i, 53, 54. 
Carpenter, Mr., ii, 116. 
Carr, Clark E., Col., ii, 3. 
Carr, Wm. W., Lieut., i, 198. 
Carter, David K., i, 359. 
Cartwright, Peter, i, 206, 273, 274 
Casparis, James, i, 216. 
Cass, Gen., i, 218, 219. 



Cemetery, Oakland, grave of Abraham 

Lincoln, ii, 260. 
Chandler, A. B., ii, 105, 140, 141, 153. 
Chandler, Zachariah, Senator, i, 292 ; 

", 35, 52, 94. 
Chase, Salmon P., Secretary, i, 335, 
344, 347, 355, 399, 400, 425, 426 ; 
ii, 50, 75, 120. 

— rival of Lincoln, ii, 189-191. 
Chicago, mourning in, ii, 258. 
Chicago, rise of, i, 114. 

— audacity of, i, 342. 

Civil War, ii, 146, 157, 164, 168, 170. 

Chittenden, E. L., ii, 249. 

Clarke, Enos, ii, 175. 

Clary's Grove Boys, i, 63, 89, 92, 272. 

Clay, Cassius M., i, 349, 369, 370; ii, 

Clay, Henry, i, 197, 201, 2l6, 380. 
Clover, Judge, ii, 65. 
Coffin, C. C, ii, 70. 
Colfax, Schuyler, i, 425 ; ii, 233, 236. 
Collamer, of Vermont, i, 347. 
Compositors receive news of Lincoln's 

death, ii, 245, 246. 
Conant, A. J., i, 93, 373. 
Confederacy, Southern, ii, 19, 36. 
Conference, Hampton Roads, ii, 212. 
Congress stands by Lincoln, ii, 59. 
Conkling, James C., Hon., i, 357. 
Conkling, Roscoe, ii, 171. 
Cooper Institute, Sumner's speech at, 

i, 369. 
Cooper Union speech, i, 326-330, 383. 
Convention, Bloomington, i, 292-300. 
Convention, Chicago, i, 340. 

— formally opened, i, 342. 

— nominates Lincoln, i, 347-356. 

— delegates to, i, 343-345 ; ii, 26. 
Convention, Decatur, i, 339, 340. 
Convention, Editorial, i, 289-292. 
Convention, National Democratic, i, 

Convention, Pekin, i, 195-197. 
Convention, Republican. {See Chicago 

Convention, Springfield, i, 316. 
Convention, Union, ii, 193. 
Conway, Moncure, ii, 88. 
Corwin, Thomas, i, 349. 
Couch, Gen., ii, 142. 
Crafton, Greek, i, 273, 274. 
Crawford, Josiah, i, 199. 
Crawford, Mrs., i, 25. 
Crotty, William, Mrs., i, 320. 
Crume, Mary (Lincoln) Mrs., i, 6. 

Crume, Ralph, i, 6. 
Cullom, Robert M., i, 133. 
Cullom, Shelby M., Senator, i, 133. 
Cullom, Gen., ii, 154. 
Curtis, Gen., ii, 66. 
Curtis, Geo. Wm., i, 349. 
Custom House, New York, meeting 
in, ii, 249. 

Dana, Charles A. , Assistant Secretary, 

ii, 81, 144. 
Davis, David, Judge, partiality for 

Lincoln, i, 244-246, 267, 268, 296, 


— sees New Jersey delegation, i, 350, 

351, 381 ; ii, 76, 254. 

Davis, Jefferson, i, 90, 208, 382 ; ii, 
39, 172, 174, 183, 210, 229, 230. 

Davis, J. McCann, i, 8. 

Dawes, Senator, ii, 56. 

Dawson John, i, 130. 

Dayton, of New Jersey, i, 347. 

Debates, Freeport, i, 363. 

Debates, Lincoln-Douglas, i, 281, 303, 
307-322, 326. 

Defeat, Stillman's, i, 79. 

Democrats, organization of, i, 126. 

Department of the West, ii, 61. 

Derickson, D. V., Capt., ii, 154-156. 

Dickerson, E. N., i, 261, 262. 

Dickinson, Daniel L., ii, 249. 

Dickey, Judge T. Lyle, story of Lin- 
coln, i, 287, 288. 

Diller, Roland, i, 236. 

District of Columbia, slavery in, i, 228. 

Dix, Gen., ii, 167. 

Dixon, John, i, 83. 

Dodge, Henry, Gov., i, 83, 90. 

Dodd, Ira Seymour, ii, 137. 

Dougherty, E. C, i, 289. 

Douglass, Fred., i, 320. 

Douglas, Stephen A., i, 114, 126, 133, 


— phenomenal record, i, 159. 

— campaign of 1837-1840, i, 159, 163. 

— character, i, 160, 172, 173, 207, 267. 

— serious struggles, i, 280, 281, 284, 

306, 335, 336. 

— doctrine, i, 363, 378, 380, 382, 385, 

386, 391, 393, 414. 

— holds Lincoln's hat, ii, 5. 

— offers aid to Lincoln, ii, 35. 
Douglas, Wm. A., i, 272. 



Draft bill, H, 147, 
Drake, C. D., ii, 175. 
Draper, A. G., Prof., ii, 245. 
Dream, President's, ii, 233, 234. 
Dresser, Nathan, i, 204. 
Drummond, Josiah, i, 345. 
Dubois, Jesse K., i, 113, 137, 158. 
Dubois, Lincoln, i, 410. 
" Duff Green's Row," i, 208. 
Duncan, Gov., i, 113. 
Durley, Madison, i, 200. 
Durley, Williamson, i, 200. 
Durrett, R. T., i, 4, 6. 
Discontent, Northern, ii, 53. 


Early, Capt. Jacob M. f i, 86, 87. 
Eaton, John, Gen., ii, 67, 68, 199. 
Eckert, Maj., ii, 134, 153, 165. 
Edwards, Cyrus, i, 229-231. 
Edwards, Benj. T., Judge, i, 178. 
Edwards, B. T., Mrs., i, 178. 
Edwards, Ninian W., i, 130, 158, 172, 

177, 178. 
Edwards, Ninian W., Mrs., i, 172, 176, 

Election, tables of, i, 362-364. 
Elkins, Wm. F., i, 130. 
Ellsworth, Colonel of Zouaves, i, 371 ; 

", 53. 
Emancipation, ii, 95, 96. 
Emancipation, message on, compen- 
sated, ii, 97. 
Emancipation, compensated, ii, 96, 

Emancipation Proclamation, ii, 116- 

126, 163, 171, 212. 
Emancipation Society, ii, 99. 
Embree, Elisha, i, 208. 
Emerson, Ralph, i, 264-266. 
Emerson, Ralph W., i, 224. 
Escort, President's funeral, ii, 253, 

Evans, E. P., ii, 167. 
Evarts, Wm. M., i, 349, 353, 359. 
Everett, Edward, ii, 35. 
Ewing, Wm. D., Hon.,i, 90, 113, 133, 

139. 158, 198. 

Farragut, Admiral, ii, 198, 202, 256. 
Farrar, B. G., Gen., ii, 63. 
Faxon, Charles, i, 289. 

Fell, Jesse W., I, 334, 345. 
Ferguson, John, i, no. 
Fessenden, William P., ii, 249. 
Field, David Dudley, i, 327. 
Ficklin, O. B., Hon., i, 320. 
Fillmore, Millard, i, 225, 301. 
Filson, John, i, 4. 
Fletcher, Job, i, 130. 
Ford, A. N., i, 289. 
Ford's theatre, ii, 242. 

— party at, ii, 235-237. 
Ford, Theodore, i, 113. 

Fort Pickens, ii, 16, 17, 19, 28, 31. 
Forts Henry and Donelson, capture of, 

», 143. 
Fort Moultrie, ii, 14, 15. 
Fort Sumter, i, 80, 387 ; ii, 14-17, 19, 

28, 29, 31, 33, 100, 230. 
Fox, Capt., ii, 134. 
Francis, Simeon, i, 184, 185. 
Free soil, i, 218, 219. 
Freedmen, march of, ii, 257. 
Fremont, John C, Gen., i, 301 ; ii, 

58, 60. 

— appointment of, ii, 61. 

— charges against, ii, 61, 65. 

— relieved of command, ii, 66-69, I2 &» 
. x 33, 174, 193. 

Fremont, Jessie Benton, Mrs., ii, 62, 

Fremont and Dayton, i, 300. 
Friend, Dennis, commonly called 

Hanks. (See Hanks, Dennis.) 
Frontier store, i, 62. 
Frye, Gen., ii, 148. 

Funeral journey, President's, ii, 254- 

Gamble, Gov., ii, 174. 
Garfield, Gen., ii, 249. 
Garrison, Wm. Lloyd, i, 224, 304 J ii, 

Gentry, Mr., i, 39. 
Gentryville, Ind., boyhood home of 

Lincoln, i, 18. 
Giddings, G. H., i, 208, 224, 292, 349. 

— letter to Lincoln, i, 368. 

— describes cabinet meeting, ii, 20-22. 
Gillespie, Judge, i, 205, 230, 405, 406, 

Gilmer, John A., i, 393, 402. 
Gilmore, James R. (Edmund Kirke), 

" Personal Recollections of Abraham 

Lincoln," ii, 171, 172. 



Goggin of Virginia, i, 382. 
Gollaher, Austin, i, 14, 15. 
Graham, Christopher Columbus, Dr., i, 

10, 14, 35- 
Graham, Mentor, i, 61, 66, 100, 117. 
Grant, Mrs., ii, 235, 236. 
Grant, Ulysses S., Gen., in the West, 

ii, 143, 144. 

— appointed Lieutenant-General, ii, 

145, 170. 

— mentioned for Presidency, ii, 186- 

— attacks Petersburg, ii, 194, 199, 208, 


— final movements, ii, 227, 233, 235, 

Greeley, Horace, i, 292, 303, 304, 307, 
315, 327, 344. 347. 349. 352, 354, 
369. 37o. 

— editorials, i, 395, 398, 418 ; ii, 117, 

118, 119. 

— opposes Lincoln, ii, 171, 172, 195- 

Green, Bowling, " Squire," i, no, in. 
Greene, friend of Lincoln, i, 66, 67, 

75. 76. 
Grigsby, Aaron, i, 27. 
Grigsby, Nat., i, 43. 
Grigsby, Sarah Lincoln, Mrs., I, 13, 

Grimes, Senator, ii, 246, 247. 
Grosscup, Peter Stenger, Hon., ii, 113. 
Grow, G. A., Hon., ii, 21, 42, &8. 
Gurley, Dr., pastor of Lincoln, ii, 244, 
249, 252, 253. 


Hale, Edward Everett, Rev., H, 97. 
Hale, J. T., Hon., i, 392. 
Hall, Levi, i, 47, 49. 
Halleck, H. W., Gen., ii, 84. 

— appointed General-in-Chief, ii, 128, 

130, 134, 135, 139, 140, 143. 144. 

Hallucination, i, 404. 
Halstead, Murat, i, 349, 352. 
Hamlin, Hannibal, Vice-President, 
meeting with Lincoln, i, 378, 397, 


— loyalty to Lincoln, ii, 189. 
Hanks, Benjamin, i, 7. 
Hanks, Dennis, i, 14, 22, 33. 
Hanks, John, i, 58, 65. 
Hanks, Joseph, i, 7, 8. 

Hanks, Joseph, brother of Nancy, i, 

7, 232. 
Hanks, Nancy. {See Nancy [HanksJ 

Lincoln, Mrs.) 
Hanks, Nancy (Shipley), Mrs., i, 7. 
Hanks, William, i, 7. 
Hardie, Col., ii, 153. 
Hardin, John J., Col., i, 114, 158, 

166, 180, 189, 194-197, 202-206, 212. 
Harding, Col., ii, 64. 
Harding, George, relates meeting of 

Lincoln and Stanton, i, 260-264. 
Harlan, James, Hon., i, 423-425; ii, 4, 

11, 103, 198, 232. 
Harris, Lieut., i, 83, 84. 
Harris, Ira, Senator, ii, 236, 237. 
Harris, Miss, ii, 237. 
Harrison, Peachy, i, 273-275. 
Harrison, Wm. Henry, Gen., i, 163, 

165, 166. 
Hawley, Joseph, i, 349. 
Hay, John, ii, 40. 
Hazel, Caleb, i, 16. 
Head, Jesse, Rev., marries Thomas 

Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, i, 10, 35. 
Helm, Mrs., i, 179. 
Henderson, T. J., Gen., i, 165. 
Henderson, John B., secures pardons 

from Lincoln, ii, 223-225. 
Henderson, Wm. H., i, 166. 
Henry, A. G., Dr., i, 180, 323. 
Henry, Gen., i, 81-84. 
Herndon, Arthur, i, 130. 
Herndon Brothers, i, 92. 
Herndon, James, i, 92. 
Herndon, Rowan, i, 92, 106. 
Herndon, Wm. H., i, 29, 33, 40, 44, 

57, 58, 62, 105, 106, 174-177, I79» 

192, 214, 239, 249, 259, 269, 295, 

304, 409. 
Herndon and Weik, i, 250. 
Hicks, of New York, i, 373. 
Hill and McNeill, i, 91. 
Hill, John, i, 255. 
Hill, Samuel, i, 106, 117; ii, 90. 
Hingham, Mass., arrival of Lincoln 

family in, i, I. 
Hitchcock, Caroline Hanks, Mrs., 

compiler of genealogy of Hanks 

family in America, i, 7. 
Hitt, Robert L., Hon., i, 277, 315, 

Hoar, Gen., i, 224. 
Hogan, John, Rev., i, 166. 
Hooker, Joseph, Gen., relieves Burn* 

side, ii, 135. 



Hooker, Joseph, receipt of President's 
letter, ii, 136-139, 162, 170. 

Howells, W. D., i, 370. 

Hospitals, ii, 157-161. 

Houston, Sam, Gov.,ii, 20-23. 

Hoyt, Col., i, 353. 

Hunter, David, Gen., i, 379, 396; ii, 
64, 67, 68, 102, 254. 

Hunter, R. M. T., ii, 210, 211. 

Hurlburt, Gen., ii, 218, 219. 

Hyer, Tom, i, 343, 344. 

lies, Capt., "Footsteps and Wander- 
ings," i, 80-84, 86. 
Illinois, Convention system of, i, 1, 93. 
Illinois, Eighth Judicial Circuit of, i, 

— Ninth General Assembly of, 111- 

114, 124-126. 

— Tenth General Assembly of, i, 127, 

132, 142-145, 147, 159. 

— State taxes, i, 185. 

— Address to the people of, i, 193. 
Inauguration Bali, i, 209. 

Internal improvements, public utility 
of, i, 67-72, 

Jackson, Andrew, Gen., i, 396; ii, 12. 

James, B. F„ i, 202. 

Jayne, Julia, Miss, i, 185, 186, 191. 

Jefferson, Joseph, Autobiography of, i, 
248, 249. 

Jefferson, Thomas, i, 35, 325, 380, 414. 

Johnson, Andrew, i, 208. 

Johnson Reverdy, i, 261, 262. 

Johnson, ex-Governor, ii, 176. 

Johnston, Albert Sidney, i, 90. 

Johnston, Gen., ii, 208, 226. 

Johnston, John, half brother of Lin- 
coln, i, 21, 233, 238. 

Johnston, A. E. H., Maj., ii, 130. 

Johnston, Matilda, i, 21. 

Johnston, Sally Bush. {See Lincoln, 
Sally [Bush], Mrs.) 

Johnston, Sarah, i, 21. 

Jones, of Gentryville, i, 34. 

Jones, J. Russell, ii, 187-189. 

Jones, Win., Capt, i, 48. 

Jones, of Cincinnati, i, 373, 374. 

Judd, Norman B., i, 275, 277, 278, 
310, 324, 339. 345. 

Judd, Norman B., nominates Lincoln, 

i, 354, 418, 420, 422. 
Judd, Norman B., Mrs., i, 277, 278. 
Julian, George W., i, 398 ; ii, 5, 94. 

Kansas-Nebraska Bill, i, 280-284. 
Keene, Laura, ii, 235, 236. 
Kellogg's Grove, skirmish of, i, 87. 
Kellogg, Wm., i, 391. 
Kelley, William D., Judge, i, 345, 359. 
Kelso, Jack, i, 93, 107, no. 
Kidd, T. W. I., i, 251, 252. 
King, Preston, i, 292, 349. 
Knox, Joseph B., i, 277, 

Lamar, John, Capt., i, 32. 

Lamon, Marshal, ii, 254. 

Lamon, Ward, i, 251, 268, 269, 419 J 
ii, 254. 

Lane, Henry S., i, 346, 352. 

Lane, Senator, ii, 37, 173. 

Law, martial, established, ii, 243. 

Lawrence, Geo., i, 412. 

Lecompton Constitution, i, 303. 

Lee, Gen., ii, 120, 131, 134, 140-142, 
193, 208, 229. 

Leighton, George, Col., ii, 63, 65. 

Levering, Mrs., i, 178. 

Levis, Edward, i, 188, 189. 

Libby Prison, ii, 229. 

Liberty Men, i, 200-202. 

Lieber, Francis, ii, 13. 

Lincoln, Abraham, of Berks Co., i, 2. 

Lincoln, Abraham, cousin of the Presi- 
dent, i, 232. 

Lincoln, Abraham, son of John, i, 3. 

Lincoln, Abraham, of Rockingham 
Co., Va., i, 8. 

Lincoln, Abraham, President, birth, 
Feb. 12, 1809, i, 14. 

— early childhood, i, 14-17. 

— boyhood in Indiana, i, 18-27. 

— life on the farm, i, 21. 

— desultory education, i, 29-34. 

— effect of tragedies, i, 27, 28. 

— backwoods orator, i, 36. 

— first dollar, i, 38. 

— on Ohio and Mississippi rivers, i, 


— impression on others, i, 4°-44« 

— clearness in argument, i, 43, 44. 



Lincoln, Abraham, leaves Indiana, 
1830, for Decatur.Ill., i, 45-49. 

— first monument, i, 46. 

— strength and appearance, i, 49-51. 

— rail splitting, i, 49, 51. 

— flat boating, i, 51-56. 

— sees slavery, i, 57, 58, 200, 222. 

— in New Salem, 1831-32, i, 59-67. 

— authority, i, 64. 

— * speech to beat, i, 65. 

— honesty, i, 65. 

— grammar, i, 66. 

— " practicing polemics,** i, 66. 

— studying men, i, 66. 

— candidate for General Assembly of 

the State, March, 1832, i, 67-72. 

— piloting the " Talisman," i, 72. 

— Capt. of Sangamon Company, i, 75- 


— Black Hawk War, i, 78-87. 

■ — disbanded at Whitewater, Wis. , i, 
87, 88. 

— candidate for State Assembly, i, 89- 

— storekeeper in New Salem, i, 91-96. 

— reading, 93-94. 

— postmaster in New Salem, i, 96-98. 

— message on compensated emanci- 

pation, ii, 96-98, 100, 101. 

— summer of 1833, i, 98. 

— surveying, i, 99-101. 

— appalling debt, i, 104, 105. 

— relations with community, i, 106. 

— elected to Illinois legislature, 1834, 

i, 108, 109. 

— studying law, i, 109, no. 

— in Ninth Assembly, i, 111-115. 

— meeting with Stephen A. Douglas, 

i, 114. 

— love for Ann Rutledge, i, 116-121. 

— intellectual equipment at twenty-six, 

i, 121-123. 

— first experience as legislator, i, 124- 


— campaign for Tenth Assembly, 

1836, i, 127-129. 

— reelected, i, 130. 

— admitted to bar at Springfield, i, 


— work in Tenth Assembly, i, 132-144. 

— social life in Vandalia, i, 145, 146. 

— Major Stuart's partner, i, 147. 

— removes to Springfield, i, 147. 

— Mary Owens, i, 149-153. 

— controversy with Gen. Adams, i, 


Lincoln, Abraham, clever strategist, I, 

157, 158. 

— meeting with Douglas, 1, 159. 

— campaign against Douglas, 1837* 

1840, i, 159-163. 
~ campaign of 1840, i, 160-169. 

— monster political meetings, i, 165. 

— social life in Springfield, i, 170-172. 

— engagement to Mary Todd, i, 172, 


— breaking of engagement to Mary 

Todd, i, 174-181. 

— friendship with Speed, i, 181-184. 

— encounter with Shields, i, 184-190. 

— marries Mary Todd, i, 190, 191. 

— candidate for Congress, 1842, i, 


— supports Baker and Hardin, J, 194- 


— Pekin convention, 1843, 1, 195-197. 

— campaign work, i, 197-199. 

— fears Hardin's reelection, i, 202-206. 

— elected to Congress, August, 1846, 

i, 206. 

— in Washington, 1847, i, 207-212. 

— Spot Resolutions, i, 212-215. 

— forms "Young Indian*' club^ i, 


— speaks for Taylor, i, 216, 220. 

— slavery question, i, 220-224. 

— at Niagara, i, 225, 226. 

— an inventor, i, 227. 

— bill to abolish slavery in District of 

Columbia, i, 228. 

— end of congressional career, 1849, 

i, 299. 

— refutes Edwards accusation, 1, 230, 


— declines governorship of Oregon, i, 


— assists relatives, i, 232-234. 

— with children, i, 235-237 ; ii, 87, 88. 

— religion, i, 237, 238. 

— devotion to study, 238-240. 

— abandons politics for law, i, 241. 

— on the Eighth Circuit, i, 242-247. 

— humor and helpfulness, i, 246, 247. 

— conduct of cases, i, 247-256. 

— telling stories, i, 253-256. 

— place in legal circle, i, 257. 

— defence of slave girl, i, 257, 258. 

— case of Illinois Central Railroad, i, 

258, 259. 

— meets Stanton, i, 260-264. 

— McCormick case, i, 260-266. 

— fees, i, 267-270. 



Lincoln, Abraham, Armstrong murder 
case, i, 270-273. 

— Harrison murder case, i, 273-275. 

— Rock Island Bridge case, i, 275- 


— Missouri Compromise, i, 279-299. 

— campaign under Fremont and Day- 

ton, i, 300. 

— proposed as candidate for Vice- 

Presidency, June 17, i, 300. 

— Lincoln-Douglas debates, i, 302- 


— speeches in New England, i, 330- 


— a national figure, i, 332, 333. 

— autobiography, i, 338. 

— - the rail candidate, i, 340, 353. 

— Cooper Institute speech, i, 326, 330, 


— newspaper support, i, 339, 341. 

— compromise candidate, i, 347. 

— nomination for President, i860, i, 


— campaign, i860, i, 359-372. 

— letter of acceptance, i, 361. 

— visitors, i, 373-375- 

— policy of silence, i, 376-378. 

— certainty of election, i, 378-384. 

— election day, i, 384-386. 

— votes for, i, 386. 

— President elect, i, 387. 

— news of disruption, i, 387-389. 

— replies to appeals, i, 390-395. 

— cabinet, i, 398-403, 423-426. 

— simple propositions, 1, 2, 3, 4, i, 

39 6 > 397- 

— prepares inaugural address, i, 403. 

— events preceding inauguration, i, 


— journey to Washington, i, 411-423. 

— first inauguration, ii, 1-13. 

— decides fate of Fort Sumter, ii, 14- 


— prevents accessions to the Confeder- 

acy, ii, 19-22. 

— besieged by office-seekers, ii, 23- 


— Seward's attitude to, ii, 26-30. 

— reply to Seward, ii, 30-32. 

— preparing for Civil War, ii, 33-45. 

— conditions in the White House, ii, 


— relation to the common soldier, ii, 

49, 50. 

— impresses others, ii, 51, 52. 

— how to use the army, ii, 52-55. 

Lincoln, Abraham, battle of Bull Rub, 
ii. 55-57- 

— gives McClellan command, ii, 59. 

— "Memoranda of Military Policy 

Suggested by Bull Run Defeat," 
. », 57, 58. 

— improves morale of officers and men, 

ii, 60. 

— trouble with Fremont, ii, 61-66. 

— disappointment in McClellan, ii, 69, 


— receives news of Col. Baker's death, 

ii, 70, 71. 

— Trent affair, ii, 72-75. 

— rights of neutrals, ii, 72-75. 

— trouble in official family, ii, 76-78. 

— appoints Stanton, ii, 78-80. 

— first encounter with Stanton, 1865, 

ii, 79- 

— defends McClellan, ii, 81, 83. 

— memorandum of military policy, ii, 


— military authority, ii, 84, 85. 

— war order, first special, ii, 86. 

— bitter private sorrow, ii, 87-89. 

— seeks religious help, ii, 89-92. 

— receives committees, ii, 93. 

— issues war orders, ii, 94. 

— denounced, ii, 95. 

— plans Compensated Emancipation, 

ii, 96-101. 

— revokes Hunter's order, ii, 102. 

— offers to resign, ii, 103, 104. 

— in the War Department, ii, 105- 


— difficulties with McClellan, ii, 107- 

no, 128-133. 

— address to Border State representa- 

tives, ii, in-113. 

— seeks a General, ii, 127. 

— appoints Halleck, ii, 128. 

— appoints Burnside, ii, 133-135. 

— appoints Hooker, ii, 135-137. 

— reviews army, ii, 137, 138. 

— receives war news, ii, 138, 142. 

— notices Grant, ii, 143, 144. 

— interview with Leonard Swett, ii, 


— Emancipation Proclamation, ii, 116- 


— appoints Grant Lieutenant-General, 

ii, 145. 

— filling the ranks, ii, 146-149. 

— personal friend of soldiers, ii, 150-, 


— in the hospitals, ii, 1 59-161, 



Lincoln, Abraham, sorrow in punish- 
ing deserters, ii, 161-169. 

— suspends executions, ii, 164-168. 

— in 1863, ii, 170. 

— opposed by radicals, ii, 171, 180. 

— substantial results of policy, ii, 171. 

— conducts Vallandigham case, ii, 


— finds out Grant's feelings, ii, 187- 

189, 199, 200. 

— ignores Chase's electioneering, ii, 


— renominated, ii, 191-194. 

— visits Grant, ii, 194. 

— calls for more volunteers, ii, 195. 

— meets Greeley's criticism, ii, 196- 


— alarmed by discontent, ii, 199. 

— duty if defeated, ii, 201, 202. 

— reelection, ii, 204. 

— reflections on the election, ii, 205- 


— letters to Sherman, ii, 209. 

— replies to Jefferson Davis, ii, 210. 

— meets Confederate envoys, ii, 211. 

— view of Emancipation Proclamation, 

ii, 212-216. 

— reconstruction, ii, 217-219. 

— a mighty problem, ii, 220, 221. 

— explains Emancipation Proclama- 

tion, ii, 222. 

— second inaugural, ii, 222, 223. 

— pardons prisoners of war, 223-225. 

— at City Point, ii, 225, 227. 

— enters Richmond, 227, 228. 

— orders draft suspended, ii, 229. 

— change in appearance, ii, 232. 

— feelings at the end of the war, ii, 


— the 14th of April, ii, 232-237. 

— "the President is shot," ii, 238- 


— death of, ii, 243, 244. 

— mourning for, ii, 245-251. 

— funeral of, ii, 250-260. 

— grave of, ii, 260. 
■*— tributes to, ii, 261. 

— the real, ii, 261, 262. 

Lincoln and Herndon, i, 241, 267, 315. 
Lincoln, Daniel, i, I. 
Lincoln, Enoch, i, 2. 
Lincoln family, i, 1. 
Lincoln, George, of Brooklyn, i, 375. 
Lincoln, Jacob, i, 3. 
Lincoln, John, called "Virginia John, * 

Lincoln, Josian, I, 6. 
Lincoln and Lamon, i, 351, 
Lincoln, Levi, i, 1. 
Lincoln, Levi, Jr., i, 2. 
Lincoln, Mary (Shipley), Mrs., I, 8. 
Lincoln, Mary Todd, Mrs., family of, 
i, 172. 

— engagement to Lincoln, i, 173. 

— engagement broken, i, 174-179, 181, 

184, 185. 

— marries Lincoln, i, 190, 191, 366J 

ii, 37, 231, 236, 237, 252. 

Lincoln, Mordecai, i, 2. 

Lincoln, Mordecai, second, i, 2. 

Lincoln, Mordecai, grandson of John, 
.i, 5, 6. 

Lincoln, Mordecai, brother of Thomas, 
i, 8, 232. 

Lincoln, Mordecai, cousin of the Presi- 
dent, i, 232. 

Lincoln, Mordecai, uncle of the Presi- 
dent, i, 232. 

Lincoln, Nancy, called Sarah, i, 14. 

Lincoln, Nancy (Hanks), Mrs., mother 
of the President, i, 7, 8, 19, 20, 22, 
27, 35, 220. 

Lincolns of Hingham, i, 366. 

Lincoln, Robert, son of the President, 
i, 330 ; ii, 233, 242. 

Lincoln, Sally Bush, Mrs., marries 
Thomas Lincoln, i, 21. 

— relation with stepson, i, 32. 

— her character of Lincoln, i, 44. 

— death, i, 169. 

— visited by Lincoln, i, 408. 
Lincoln, Samuel, of Hingham, i, 1, 


Lincoln, Sarah, sister of the President. 
(See Grigsby, Sarah [Lincoln], Mrs.) 

Lincoln, Tad (Thomas), son of the 
President, i, 236; ii, 87, 88, 157, 

Lincoln, Thomas, i, I. 

Lincoln, Thomas, father of the Presi- 
dent, i, 6. 

— marriage with Nancy Planks, i, 7, 


— position in Hardin Co., i, 13. 

— birth of son Abraham, i, 14. 

— emigrates to Indiana, i, 18. 

— marries Mrs. Sally Bush Johnston, 

i, 21, 25, 35. 

— leaves Indiana for Illinois, i, 45, 47, 


— poor livelihood, i, 147, 220. 

— illness, i, 238. 



Lincoln* Willie, son of the President, 

ii, 87. 
— death of, ii, 89, 253. 
Linder, Gen., " Reminiscences" of, 

i, 1, 40, 136, 254. 
Logan, John, Judge, i, 91, 133, 252, 

274, 337, 345, 354- 
Logan, Stephen T., i, 89, 113. 
Longfellow, Henry W., i, 224. 
** Long Nine," the, i, 130, 153. 
"Lost Speech," i, 296. 
Lott, Elijah, i, 189. 
Louisiana Purchase, i, 279. 
Lovejoy, Elijah, anti-slavery editor, i, 

143, 221. 
Lovejoy, Owen, i, 322 ; ii, in. 
Lowell, James Russell, ii, 65, 224, 231. 
Lundy, Benjamin, editor of the 

" Genius," i, 35. 
Lutes, William, i, 25. 
Lyon, Gen., ii, 63. 
Lynching prevented, ii, 247, 248. 

McPherson, ii, 170. 

McRae, of North Carolina, i, 382, 

Meade, Gen., ii, 140-142, 165, 166, 

Medill, Joseph A., Hon., i, 295, 316, 


— " Reminiscences," i, 339, 347, 349. 

— takes message to President, ii, 148, 

Merryman, E. H., i, 186, 187-189. 

Militia, call for, ii, 34. 

Mexican War, i, 212-215, 219, 291, 

Missouri Compromise, i, 35, 257, 279- 

Mill, John Stuart, ii, 75. 
Morgan, E. D., Gov., i, 292. 
Morris, i, 204. 
Morrison, Don, i, 229, 231* 
Morton, Oliver P., i, 292. 
Moultrie, Fort, ii, 14, 15. 


Manny, John T. (See McCormick 

Marshall, Humphrey, ii, 22. 

Mason and Slidell, capture of, ii, 72, 


— surrender of, ii, 74. 
McClellan, George B., Gen., story cur- 
rent of, i, 259. 

— takes command of army, ii, 59. 

■ — preparing for the field, ii, 69, 70, 
71, 80-85. 

— campaign of 1862, ii, 107-110, 120. 

— failure, ii, 127-133. 

— removed, ii, 133, 161, 202, 204. 
44 McClellan's Own Story," i, 260. 
McClure, A. K., Col., i, 349, 398 ; ii, 

140, 141. 

McClernand, John A., i, 133, 274, 349 ; 
ii, 139. 

McCormick, Andrew, i, 130. 

McCormick case, i, 260-266, 278. 

McCormick, Cyrus H. (See McCor- 
mick case.) 

Mcllvaine, A. R., i, 208. 

McDowell, Gen., ii, 56, 108. 

McKenny, T. I., Gen., ii, 66. 

McLean, of Pennsylvania, i, 347, 352, 

McNeill, John, i, 1 17-119. 


Neapope, i, 74. 

New Salem, map of, i, 9. 

New Salem, scene of Lincoln's mer- 
cantile career, i, 59, 60. 

Nicolay, Jno. G., i, 176; ii, 1, 37. 

Nicolay and Hay, " Abraham Lincoln, 
A History," i, 225, 390, 392, 393, 
410 ; ii, 11, 31, 84, 85, 116, 142, 177. 

Norton, Charles, ii, 231. 

Norton, Miss, ii, 65. 

New York City, in mourning, ii, 270. 

— meeting at Custom House, ii, 249. 

— Lincoln's funeral in, ii, 255-257. 

Ode for the Burial of Abraham Lia« 

coin, ii, 257. 
Officee, H. H., ii, 151. 
Office seekers, ii, 23-25. 
Offut, Denton, i, 51, 59-65, 72. 
Oglesby, Richard J., i, 290, 322, 340, 

345 ; ii, 235. 
Oldroyd, O. F., i, 345. 
Onstott, Henry, i, no. 
Order, first special war, ii, 86. 
Ordinance of 1787, i, 33, 34, 278. 
Osborne, Charles, i, 35. 
Owens, Mary, i, 133, 149-152, 173. 



Palfrey, i, 224. 

Palmer, John M., i, 292, 322, 337, 

340, 345, 350, 357- 
Pardons, ii, 223. 
Parrott, John H., i, 10. 
Parker, Theodore, i, 303, 304. 
Patterson, Gen., ii, 58. 
Peck, Ebenezer, i, 126, 159. 
Perry, of South Carolina, i, 382. 
Petersburg, 111., laid out by Lincoln, 

i, 101. 
Pettis, S. Newton, Judge, i, 352, 354. 
Phillips, Wendell, i, 224, 304. 
Piatt, i, 374- 

Pierce, Franklin W., i, 306. 
Pickett, Thomas J., i, 289. 
Pinkerton, Allan, i, 418. 
Pitcher, John, Judge, i, 34. 
Plot in Baltimore, i, 419. 
Pollock, James, i, 208. 
Pomeroy, Senator, ii, 190, 191. 
Pope, John, Gen., ii, 128-130. 
Poore, Ben: Perley, i, 211 ; ii, 47. 
Potts, Mr., ii, 152. 
Porter, Admiral, ii, 226, 228. 
Preetorius, Emil, Dr., ii, 61, 173. 
Prescott, C. J., i, 397. 
Press, i, 365, 366. 
Prickett, Josephine Gillespie, Mrs. 

i, 405. 
Proclamation, Emancipation, ii, 116- 
126, 163, 171, 212. 

Radford, Reuben, i, 91, 92. 
Radicals, Missouri, ii, 172. 
Rails, i, 49, 98, 99, 366. 
Ralston, Virgil Y., i, 289. 
Randall, Gov., ii, 42. 
Rathbone, H. R., Major, 11,236, 237. 
— with Lincoln's assassin, ii, 239, 240. 
Ray, Charles H., i, 290. 
Raymond, editor, i, 370; ii, 202. 
Reconstruction, ii, 217, 234, 252. 
Reeder, Andrew H., i, 349. 
Republican party in Illinois, formation 

of, i, 289. 
Resources, national, ii, 206-208. 
Reynolds, i, 21, 75, 79, 80. 
Repeal of the Missouri Compromise, 

i, 279. 
Richardson, Col., ii, 68. 

Richmond, condition of, ii, 228. 

Riney, Zachariah, i, 16. 

" River Queen," steamer, ii, 211. 

Robbins, Z. S., ii, 123. 

Rodney, Miss., i, 191. 

Rock Island Bridge case, i, 275-278. 

Roll, John, Mr., i, 53. 

Rosecrans, W. S., Gen., ii, 135, 171, 

Rosewater, Mr., ii, 134. 
Ross, Thomas, i, 411. 
Ruggles, J. M., Hon., i, 132, 195. 
Russell, W. H., ii, 17. 
Rutledge, Ann, i, 9, 1 16-120, 121. 


Sangamon, navigation of, i, 68. 

44 San Jacinto," warship, ii, 72. 

Schneider, George, i, 290, 340. 

Schofield, Gen., ii, 173, 179. 

School, Old Carter, i, 199. 

Scott, Dred, i, 302, 303, 307. 

Scott, Gen., i, 82, 90, 396, 408, 419, 

420 ; ii, 3, 4, 16, 17-19. 3o, 39. 54. 

56, 81, 127, 128, 256. 
Scott, Judge, i, 166-168, 253, 254, 293. 
Schurz, Carl, i, 349, 359, 369, 380, 

399 ; ii, 98-100. 
Scripps, John L., i, 29, 322. 
Seamon, John, i, 53, 54. 
Secession, question of, ii, 8. 
Selby, Paul, i, 284, 289, 290, 292. 
Seward, Frederick, i, 419, 420 J ii, 74, 


— stabbed, ii, 242. 

Seward, Wm. H., Secretary, i, 224, 
303, 304, 335, 339, 343, 344, 35©, 
352-355, 357, 369, 37o, 374, 38o, 
381, 392, 399, 400, 402, 407, 420, 
424-426; ii, 1, 6, 9, 11, 19, 22, 31. 

— ambition, ii, 26-28. 

— some thoughts for the President's 

consideration, ii, 29, 30. 

— begins to understand Lincoln, ii, 

32, 56, 74, 76, 97, 99, 113, I25 f 
189, 210, 211. 

— stabbed, ii, 242. 
Seward, Mrs., ii, 28, 32. 
Shaw, B. F., i, 290. 

Sherman, Gen., ii, 49, 51, 60, 170, 

198, 202, 208, 226, 233. 
Shields, James, i, 22, 159, 172. 

— encounter with Lincoln, i, 184-19^ 



Shipley, Ltter* {See Berry, Lucy [Ship- 
ley], Mrs.) 

Shipley, Mary. {See Lincoln, Mary 
[Shipley], Mrs.) 

Shipley, Nancy. {See Hanks, Nancy 
[Shipley], Mrs.) 

Shipley, Rachel, Mrs., i, 8. 

Shipley, Robert, i, 8. 

Short, James, i, 105, 106. 

Simpson, Bishop, ii, 252. 

— President's funeral oration, ii, 260. 

•* Silver Grays," ii, 39. 

Simmons, Pollard, i, gg. 

Sixth Massachusetts, attacked by mob 
in Baltimore, ii, 37, 38. 

Slavery prohibited, ii, 215. 

Small, Col., ii, 43- 

Smith, Caleb B., Secretary, i, 354, 
402, 424, 425 ; ii, ig. 

Smith, Leslie, i, 166. 

Southern Confederacy, founding of the, 
i, 388 ; ii, 95, 104. 

South, threats of, i, 379~387- 

Speech, Lost, i, 296-299. 

Speed, Joshua, i, 128, 129, 147, 174, 
175, I7g» 181-183, igo, 22g ; ii, g7- 

Spot Resolutions, i, 212-214. 

Spriggs, Mrs., i, 208, 223. 

Springfield, condition of, i, 148. 

— mass meeting in, i, 372. 

— election in, i, 384. 

— President's body brought back to, 
ii, 260. 

Stanton, Edwin M., Secretary, in con- 
nection with McCormick case, i, 260- 

— appointment of, ii, 7g~ 8l » Io6 » io 7. 

130, 134. 148, 163. 

— impressions of Lincoln, ii, 234, 243, 

244, 257. 
Star of the West, ii, 15. 
Stedman, E. C, i, 371. 
Stevens, Thaddeus, i, 349, 353. 369. 
Stillman, Major, i, 78, 79. 
Stone, Daniel, i, 130. 
Stone, Gen., i, 419, 420; ii, 71. 
Strohn, John, i, 208. 
Stuart and Lincoln, i, 158. 
Stuart, John, Mrs., statement of, i,i77- 
Stuart, John T., Major, i, 90; 109, 

122, 158, 159, 181. 
Sturgis, Gen., ii, 68. 
Sumner, Charles, Secretary, i, 224, 301, 

303, 304. 369- 

— belief in Lincoln, 11, 73, 97, 171, 

229, 232. 

Sunderland, Byron, ii, 123. 

Swan, A. W., ii, 151. 

Sweeny, William, i, 398. 

Swett, Leonard, i, 337, 344> 345, 347* 

350, 353, 354, 357, 381 ; ", 66, 113* 

115, 116, 178, 200-203. 

Taney, Chief Justice, 1, 306 ; ii, 12. 

" Talisman," steamer, i, 70, 72. 

Taylor, Bayard, ii, 39. 

Taylor, Dick, Col., i, 157. 

Taylor, Zachary, Gen., i, 7g, 8l » 8 *# 

go, 2og, 218, 22g ; ii, 13. 
Texas, annexation of, i, 200. 
Texas, conflict in, ii, 20, 21, 
Thayer, Eli, i, 3g2. 
Thomas, William, i, I5g. 
Thornton, H. W., Hon., i, 179. 180. 
Tilton, Theodore, ii, 230. 
Todd, Robert S., i, 172. 
Tompkins, Patrick, i, 208. 
Toombs, i, 216. 
Tracts, campaign, i, 369, 370. 
Trent, Alexander, i, 104. 
Trent, William, i, 104. 
Trent, packet ship, ii, 72, 76. 
Troops, call for, ii, 42, no, 146, 195- 
Troops, federal, ii, 53- 
Troops, review of, ii, 137, I3 8 « 
Trumbull, Lyman, Judge, i, 322. 
Tuck, Amos, i, 359, 402. 
Turnham, David, Mr., i, 133. 
Twiggs, Gen., ii, 121. 


Usher, Secretary, ii, 244* 
Usrey, W. J., i, 2go. 

Van Bergen, Mr., i, 105. 

Van Buren, Martin, i, ig7, 218. 

Vallandigham case, ii, 180-186,203. 

Vanuxem and Potter, i, 250. 

" Virginia John. " (See Lincoln, John.) 

Virginia, secession of, ii, 36. 

Voorhees, ii, 203. 


Wade, of Ohio, i, 347- 
Wallace, Mrs., i, 178, 179. 



War, brutality of, ii, 195. 

— early days of, ii, 158. 

— end of, ii, 230. 

War of 1812, soldiers of, ii, 39. 

War records, ii, 43. 

Ward, Artemus, ii, 120. 

War orders, general, ii, 94. 

Washburn, i, 209, 210. 

Washburne, E. B., Hon. i, 315, 364, 

372, 392, 396, 423 ; ii, 203. 
Washington,!). C, in 1848, i, 207-211. 

— slave market in, i, 228. 

— alarming condition of, ii, 36-39. 

— arrival of troops, ii, 40. 

— a hospital, ii, 157, 158. 
Watkins, Thomas, i, 101, 104. 
Watson, P. H. {See McCormick case.) 
Webster, Daniel, i, 166, 207 ; ii, 43. 
Webster, Fletcher, i, 166. 

Weed, Thurlow, i, 225, 349, 355, 378, 

381, 392, 395, 398, 399, 402 ; ii, 25, 

Weik, Jesse, i, 30. 
Weir, Mr., i, 130. 
Weldon, Lawrence, Judge, i, 247 ; ii, 

237, 239. 
Welles, Gideon, Secretary, i, 349, 359, 

403, 424; ii, 27, 113. 
Wentworth, " Long John," i } 336 
Wharton, O. P., i, 290. 
White Cloud, i, 74. 

White, Horace, I, 349. 

White House, arrangement of, ii, 46. 

Whitesides, Gen., i, 186, 187. 

Whitney, H. C, i, 239, 242. 

— reports Lincoln's lost speech, i, 296- 

Whiting, Maj.-Gen., ii, 184. 

Whitney, Walter, i, 412. 

Whittier, John G., i, 224, 370. 

Wide Awakes. {See campaign i860.) 

Wigwam. {See Chicago convention.) 

Wilkes, Capt., ii, 72, 74. 

Wilson, R. L., i, 130. 

Wilson, Henry, ii, 171. 

Wilson, William B., ii, 48. 

Willard, Henry, i, 349. 

Willis, N. P., impression of the Presi- 
dent, ii, 51. 

Wilmot, David, i, 292, 349, 398. 

Wilmot proviso, i, 222. 

Winters, Wm. Hoffman, librarian, 1,33, 

Winthrop, Robert C, i, 207, 212. 

Wood, Fernando, i, 396. 

Wright, Dr. J. J., i, 17. 

Wright, of Mobile, i, 373. 

Yates, Richard, i, 280. 
Yanaey, William L., i, 379. 

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